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Guy Harvey–Bimini’s latest big fish

Lured by the fantastic fishing grounds and long sportfishing legacy, US entrepreneur and wildlife artist has chosen the Bahamian island of Bimini to be the first location for his brand of resort. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When the Bimini Big Game Club reopened this summer under the Guy Harvey brand, many were left asking just “who exactly is Guy Harvey?”

A unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, the Germany-born Harvey is a 10th generation Jamaican of English descent.

Growing up, Harvey–who has a doctorate in fisheries management from the University of West Indies–spent many hours fishing and diving with his father along Jamaica’s south coast.

Fascinated by the marine life, he began drawing pictures of the many different fish he observed, and although he has never received any formal art training, he has become a successful commercial wildlife artist.

In 1985, he depicted Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea in 44 original pen-and-ink drawings and displayed them at an exhibition in Jamaica. The favourable response he received nudged him into painting full-time.

When Harvey began licensing his images, his career as an artist really took off. “My hobby became my profession,” he says.

Now his artwork appears on a slew of products, ranging from fine-art limited edition prints, silk-screen and embroidered apparel, to giftware and woven tapestry throws. Harvey derives income from a share of the profits from the licensed products, and over the years he has built up a successful business. “I’ve been doing this for 25 years now,” he stresses. “This is not an overnight deal.”

Based out of the corporate offices of Guy Harvey Inc in Ft. Lauderdale, the Guy Harvey brand has expanded to include six restaurants in North America that specialize in seafood from sustainable stocks.

The restaurants, he says, are just another aspect of licensing.

“You allow your name to go on a building, or an item of merchandise or apparel, but you closely regulate the quality, the marketing and everything else with it,” says Harvey. “We are right there supervising and assisting.”

But what brought Harvey and his financial partners to Bimini?

“The same thing that brought Ernest Hemingway here: the fish,” says Harvey, who in 1998 was the first recipient of the International Game Fish Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

His key role in the newly re-opened 51-room, 75-slip resort and marina is to help promote and market the venture, in addition to providing the artwork.

As an ardent conservationist, Harvey’s Outpost is also designed to deliver products that give individuals an opportunity to learn and expand their knowledge and awareness of how to conserve and enhance marine resources at a local and global level, in a fun environment.

Harvey currently maintains his art studio in Grand Cayman, where he lives with wife Gillian and their two children.

The College of The Bahamas is processing applications from candidates, mainly from the financial services sector, to participate in its inaugural 19-month MBA programme beginning in September.

Number hits 125 for the first six months of 2010 on the back of the Central Bank's revised policy, which implements key changes to the scope of activities permitted to licence holders.

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