The SeaVibe group visiting and water testing at the latest addition to Jamaica’s National Marine Sanctuary system. This sanctuary includes sandy beach and sea floor, coral reef, and mangrove habitats. Fishing is not permitted within the sanctuary boundaries, and this protection allows these three vital habitats to function as the natural “nurseries” that they are for a wide variety of marine life. Local fisherman are already seeing the benefits of protecting some of these critical habitats. Larger fish and more fish in general are being caught as a result of what’s called spillover in the waters surrounding the sanctuary. Three types of sea turtles are making a significant comeback as a result of this protected area and sanctuary patrol staff oversight. Some of the fresh water near the sea gets its reddish brown color from the red mangroves.
The goal is to create a series or string of marine protected areas around the island, much like a necklace, that will enhance and ensure future productivity in the surrounding waters.