Great Tobago Island
Little Tobago (left) and Great Tobago (right), as seen from St. John
|British Overseas Territory||British Virgin Islands|
Great Tobago is an uninhabited island of the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, located, along with sister island Little Tobago, approximately six miles west of Jost Van Dyke. The Tobagos are the westernmost of the British Virgin Islands.
At 210 acres (85 ha) in size, it is surrounded by steep cliffs that also extend below the water. Since the 1990s, Great Tobago, Little Tobago islands, and nearby Mercurious and Watson Rocks are protected as part of the National Parks Trust.
Great Tobago contains the Caribbean's third largest population of nesting seabirds, including magnificent frigatebirds, long-tailed tropicbirds, terns, brown pelicans, laughing gulls, blue-footed boobys, and other species. The islands was also populated by goats for many years.
There are over fifteen scuba diving sites. Though it's legal to snorkel and dive around the island, it is illegal to anchor because all potential anchoring locations are coral reefs that would be destroyed by an anchor. Large fines can occur if you violate this no-anchor zone, which is frequently patrolled by the BVI Marine Police.
In the 1990s, a company from the neighboring United States Virgin Islands floated a proposal to build a waste dump on Great Tobago Island, but the proposal was turned down by the British Virgin Islands government.