JIS News

The National Council on Ocean and Coastal Zone Management (NCOCZM) has established a Cay Management Committee for the more than 60 cays surrounding Jamaica.
The committee is in the process of visiting a number of the cays with a view to provide a detail report on the existing conditions.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Ronald Robinson, disclosed this during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate 2008/09 in the Upper House on July 18.
“The committee has now established its terms of reference and will shortly commence work on a policy document, which, we hope, will guide the future management and sustainable (development) of our cays,” he said.
Senator Robinson pointed out that lack of a regulatory frame work for these cays has resulted in perpetration of activities, which threaten the sustainability of the ecology and economy as well as national security.”Cays such as Pedro and Morant are rich sources of income for many Jamaicans, particularly our fisher folk. There is no comprehensive policy in place for the effective management of the cays and their associated ecosystems,” Dr. Robinson said.
He outlined that the cays provide habitats for numerous species of flora and fauna, some of which are indigenous to Jamaica.
Senator Robinson further informed that the NCOCZM has been working alongside the Meteorological Service to identify tide gauge sites with a view to establishing a functioning tide gauge network for the island.”This should play an integral role in the development of a Caribbean Sea Level Monitoring Network. The plan is to integrate this network into the development of a regional tsunami warning system,” the State Minister said.
Dr. Robinson said the tide gauge data will be useful in producing among other things, forecasts of sea level rise, storm warnings, and tide predictions as well as determining the likelihood of disease outbreaks, and establishing guidelines for the management of ports, harbours, ship routing, and marine recreation.