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Story Highlights

  • The recently commissioned census and Carrying Capacity Study on the Pedro Cays has been completed.
  • The Ministry is in the process of submitting the findings and recommendations to Cabinet.
  • The census and carrying capacity study were commissioned following media reports of the prevailing unsanitary conditions at Pedro Cays.

The recently commissioned census and Carrying Capacity Study on the Pedro Cays, to determine the number of persons occupying the area and the extent and status of infrastructure to accommodate them, has been completed.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on April 23.

He noted that the Ministry is in the process of submitting the findings and recommendations to Cabinet, adding that the study was completed by the University of the West Indies (UWI).

“The intention is that an Inter-Ministerial Committee will use this study as the basis for formulating, once and for all, a sustainable management plan for the cays, with the role and responsibilities of all relevant agencies clearly defined,” he said.

The census and carrying capacity study were commissioned following media reports of the prevailing unsanitary conditions at Pedro Cays, which are situated south of Jamaica. The cays are frequented by fisher folk mainly from southern parishes, who make their livelihood from fishing activities in that region.

In light of that, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries immediately moved to provide some $34.5 million from the Fisheries Management Development Fund to deal with the management of the cays, including $16.6 million allocated for solid waste management of which over $4 million has already been spent.

“Working in conjunction with the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard and the Marine Police, the Fisheries Division has stepped up, considerably, its enforcement and monitoring activities on the cays, resulting in the removal of a number of unlicensed persons,” Minister Clarke said.