JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has instructed the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), to conduct an assessment of the status of the local game bird population, in light of the passage Tropical Storm Gustav last week.
The Prime Minister, also issued instructions for the suspension of game bird shooting, as at last weekend, until NEPA submits a report on its investigations.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing at Jamaica House on August 29, to provide an update on the effects of the storm on the country, Mr. Golding said NEPA will undertake an assessment of the effects of the system on the game bird population early this week, to determine whether further hunting can be facilitated.
“Normally, the real threat to the bird population has to do with wind, and the damage that that does to the habitat and to the feeding. We will do an assessment to make a final decision,” Mr. Golding outlined, adding that the various clubs were advised of the suspension of hunting sessions.
“We communicated that decision to the Presidents of the various gun and shooting clubs, and asked them to convey it to their members,” he informed.
NEPA, an Executive Agency, falling under the purview of the Office of the Prime Minister, has responsibility for promoting sustainable development throughout Jamaica, by ensuring the protection of the environment and orderly development. To this end, the agency monitors activities pertaining to the country’s wildlife, including game birds.
Hunting during the game bird shooting season is regulated under the Wild Life and Protection Act, and this year, runs from August 23 to September 28. Shooting sessions are only allowed on Saturdays, between sunrise and 9 a.m., and from 2.30 p.m. to sunset, and on Sundays, from sunrise to 9 a.m.
NEPA, which issues hunting licenses, advises that the only birds which may be hunted during the season are the White Crown Pigeon/Bald-pate, Zenaida Dove/Pea Dove, White Winged Dove, and the Mourning Dove/Long-tailed Pea Dove. The bag limit per shooting session is 20 birds, of which no more than 15 should be Bald- pate.
Under the Act, all hunters must have a valid firearm permit. Licensed and unlicensed hunters, who are caught shooting outside the season, may be fined up to $100,000 or imprisoned for one year, if convicted. Similar penalties may apply to hunters exceeding the bag limit.