Morant Cays

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Morant Cays
Morant Cays.png
NASA Landsat image of Morant Cays and Bank, visible color -33 percent brightness and +66 percent contrast enhanced
Morant Cays is located in Caribbean
Morant Cays
Morant Cays
Coordinates17°24′N 75°59′W / 17.400°N 75.983°W / 17.400; -75.983Coordinates: 17°24′N 75°59′W / 17.400°N 75.983°W / 17.400; -75.983

Morant Cays is an offshore island group 51 km SSE off Morant Point, Jamaica. They are one of two offshore island groups belonging to Jamaica, the other ones being the Pedro Cays. They are located at 17°24′N 75°59′W / 17.400°N 75.983°W / 17.400; -75.983 and consist of four small islets grouped closely together along the southeastern rim of Morant Bank a comparatively extensive crescent-shaped bank of coral, over 7 km long, rising from 1000 m. The area of Morant Bank is about 100 km². The aggregate land area of the four cays is only 16.0 hectares or 39.5 acres. Morant Cays are low-lying, mostly uninhabited, seasonally visited by fishermen, and fronted by highly exposed reefs over which the sea constantly breaks.


The cays were annexed in 1862 by the United Kingdom and added to Jamaica in 1882.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The islands have sparse vegetation and are a seabird rookery and turtle nesting area. Seabird eggs and guano are collected periodically.


North-East Cay , at 17°25′N 75°59′W / 17.417°N 75.983°W / 17.417; -75.983, is sometimes divided into three parts, the sea washing over the connecting sand spits. There is a fishermen's camp, established by the Jamaican Ministry of Agriculture, with several huts and a water tank on the south side of the cay. There is a lighthouse at Breezy Point, the easternmost point of the cay and of Jamaica.

North-West Cay[1]

South-East Cay, at 17°23′N 76°00′W / 17.383°N 76.000°W / 17.383; -76.000, lies 1.9 km SSW of North-East Cay. Sand spits, which extend from its ends, alter in shape with the seasons of the year; in summer the SW spit is washed away and deposited on the W side of the cay.

South-West Cay (South Cay), at 17°23′N 76°01′W / 17.383°N 76.017°W / 17.383; -76.017, lies 1.6 km southwest of South-East Cay. A rocky ledge extending from the cay is used as a pier.


External links[edit]

  • Sailing Directions, Caribbean Sea, Vol. I
  • Gazetteer: Geographic Names of Jamaica
  • "Island Directory". UN System-Wide Earthwatch.