March 27, 2015
The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) has served the Commissioner of Lands and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MOAF) two Enforcement Notices each for breaches of the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA) Act at Pedro Cays.
They were cited for failure to install appropriately designed management system for the containment, treatment and disposal of human excreta and the accumulation of solid waste at Pedro Cays due to the absence of appropriate solid waste management provisions.
The action has come about due to the failure of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to respond to, and to comply with, requirements outlined in a letter dated 26 November 2014 directed to the Ministry for attention. The requirements were made as result of the findings from a site assessment of the Cay. The Commissioner of Lands was enjoined in the Notices. The lands, water columns and floor of the sea are vested in the Crown.
The Commissioner of Lands and the MOAF have been given thirty days to comply, failing which further enforcement action will be taken as provided for under the NRCA Act. The Notices were served on 25 March 2015 and will become effective 24 April 2015.
The Pedro Bank is located approximately 80km south-southwest of Jamaica and is one of the largest offshore banks in the Caribbean basin with an approximate area of 23,346 ha. The Pedro Bank supports a variety of marine habitats including sand, coral reefs, deep reefs, seagrass beds and four (4) coralline islands collectively called the Pedro Cays.
The Cays are considered important seabird nesting and roosting areas for Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) and others and also serve as a nesting site for several marine turtle species; such as, Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtles.