Portland Bight Protected Area

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Portland Bight Protected Area
Map showing the location of Portland Bight Protected Area
Map showing the location of Portland Bight Protected Area
Map of Jamaica
Location Jamaica
Coordinates 17°41′38″N 77°06′43″W / 17.694°N 77.112°W / 17.694; -77.112Coordinates: 17°41′38″N 77°06′43″W / 17.694°N 77.112°W / 17.694; -77.112[1]
Area 724 sq mi (1,880 km2)
Established 1999

The Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) was created by the Jamaican government in 1999 to protect a large marine and terrestrial area on the island of Jamaica located southeast of Kingston. Nearby cays such as Little Goat Island are included. It is the largest protected area in Jamaica and comprises 724 square miles (1,880 km2). Although the first priority in forming the protected area was to protect the coral reefs,[2] it also serves to protect vulnerable and endemic species. The PBPA includes 32 square miles (83 km2) of wetlands on the island, and coastlines of mangroves, as well as sea-grass beds that serve as a nursery for fish and shellfish breeding. The Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM) has been charged with managing zones within the protected area.[3][4]

On land there are 81 square miles (210 km2) of dry limestone forests, 60 known caves,[5] and it includes a population of 50,000. Part of the task in forming the PBPA going forward is to find a balance between protecting the ecosystem from destruction by economic development and allowing the human inhabitants a means to live and work.[6]

As of August 29, 2013, the PNP Government of Jamaica is proposing to develop the Goat Islands, in the PBPA, as a transhipment hub in conjunction with the Chinese government. Environmentalists argue that this will have a severe impact on the entire protected area.[7][8]

As of September 23, 2016, the current Prime Minister, Andrew Holness of the JLP, has stated that the Goat Islands are no longer being considered as a base for a transhipment hub.[9]


  1. ^ "Portland Bight Protected Area". protectedplanet.net. 
  2. ^ Linton; et al. "Preliminary Report of Coral Reef Monitoring of the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA)" (PDF). PDF. Centre for Marine Sciences University of the West Indies. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "CSI Activities (Portland Bight, Jamaica)". Unesco.org. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 
  4. ^ "Secology Island Projects". Seacology. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Stewart, RS. "The Caves of Portland Bight, Jamaica (C-CAM Report)" (PDF). PDF. Jamaican Caves Organisation. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  6. ^ Serju, Christopher (May 19, 2012). "Stakeholders aim to preserve the Portland Bight Protected Area". The Gleaner. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ JET; et al. (August 29, 2013). "Press Release - Portland Bight Protected Area". Jamaican Caves Organisation. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Jamaica Observer (September 1, 2013). "Officials insist Goat Islands must be protected". Jamaica Observer - JCO Mirror. Retrieved 2 September 2013. 
  9. ^ Jamaica Gleaner. "Transshipment project under consideration, but not for Goat Islands – PM". Jamaica Gleaner - September 23, 2016. 

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