Known as the Gateway to the Bahamas, the small islands of Bimini are located less than 50 miles from Florida, USA. The warm, clear waters of Bimini flow from the Gulf Stream up onto the Great Bahama Bank. These waters have made Bimini a world famous destination for Big Game Fishing, SCUBA Diving, and Shark Research.
The island cluster of Bimini has an abundance of shark fauna and diversity of marine habitats varying from semi-enclosed shallow flats bordered by mangroves, to open banks on the east, to current swept harbour channels, and to coral reefs sloping to the deep pelagic zone of the Florida current on the west.
As the only mangrove nursery habitat on the western edge of the Great Bahama Bank, Bimini serves as a critically important site for replenishing numerous fishery resources throughout the western Bahamas and beyond. Commercially important species, such as Spiny Lobster, Queen Conch, and Nassau Grouper, all rely on Bimini’s inshore marine environment for survival. Countless other species of birds, reptiles, and fish are also dependent upon these same habitats, contributing greatly to Bimini’s tourism industry and ecological well being.
The mangroves of the Bahamas are home to such an abundance of wildlife, that it is difficult to exaggerate their ecological value. Unbeknownst to many, perhaps the species that benefits from them most is humans. Live mangroves represent a resource that not only has ecological value, but also huge economic and social value.