The extensive area of Portland Bight is located on the southern coast of Jamaica and includes three (3) fish sanctuaries: Galleon Harbour (17.1km2), Salt Harbour (10.7km2) and Three Bays (12.0km2). They were designated in 2009 though the Portland Bight Protected Area existed from 1999. The area supports 4,500 fishers, the largest number of all the sanctuaries and roughly 25% of the fishers population in Jamaica. The surrounding communities of Salt River, Mitchell Town and Old Harbour Bay have a combined population of 10,500 persons, though the entire Portland Bight Protected Area is home to some 50,000.
The Caribbean Coastal Area Management (C-CAM) Foundation is responsible for the management of the three sanctuaries, as well as conservation of other extensive natural resources in the area. Even with all the corporate partnerships, the established councils and the hard working members of the C-CAM Foundation, the area they manage is very large, and in the instance of some of the sanctuaries, isolated and some distance away. This and the large population of persons they are trying to reach challenge the Foundation every day.
Photos: School of surgeonfish in the Portland Bight area (Above, B. Hay); C-CAM wardens in front of their C-FISH funded patrol boat (Right, S. Lee)
Through a partnership with C-FISH, the Portland Bight sanctuaries have been able to:
- Purchase a fully equipped patrol boat to improve their enforcement capabilities. Please see our Press Release on Patrol Boats.
- Purchase and installing a photovolteic solar energy system for their field station at Salt River. The system provides enough energy to operate their station comfortably.
- Provide funding to contract local fisher folk in the area on a part time basis to participate in enforcement activities. This will help bring awareness to the communities.
And soon to come:
- Provide enforcement and conservation training for Conservation Officers
- Purchase an additional outboard engine for their patrol boat