The natural resources of the Bahamas include salt, aragonite, timber and arable land. Aragonite is one of two naturally occurring crystalline forms of calcium carbonate and is present due to the coral on the islands. The islands have a relatively small area of arable land, making up around 0.5 percent of the total landmass. Timber production is likewise restricted to small areas throughout the island chain.
When first settled, the Bahamas island chain relied principally on agriculture and fishing as its primary economic activities. As populations grew, however, the lack of natural resources on the islands began to become apparent. In the modern era, the Bahamas has diversified into the tourism, financial services and shipping industries, and the economy is highly dependent on money brought in from outside the islands for local services.
As of 2014, many investors in the Bahamas are focusing on the ecological tourism potential of the islands. Its biological diversity is a very strong resource, albeit one that requires careful protection to allow endangered species in the area to thrive, according to The Bahamas Investor. As of 2011, the government had established nearly 1,100 square miles of land and sea as protected areas for wildlife and plants.