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Fisherfolk will not be displaced, says Goat Islands study
2013-10-29 17:53:41 | (0 Comments)
Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer
The study commissioned by the government into the Goat Islands has suggested that there would not be any serious displacement of fisherfolk if Chinese investors were allowed to go ahead with its transshipment port in the area.
Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies, in a statement to parliament this afternoon, spoke to the findings of the Environmental Management Scoping Study, which was commissioned by the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Davies said the study found that only one of the three fish sanctuaries in The Portland Bight Protected Area would likely be impacted by the proposed project.
According to the study, not much fishing is now being carried out at the other two sanctuaries as dynamiting and over fishing has degraded the area.
It said this has driven fiskerfolk away to the Pedro Cays where they now do most of their fishing.
AND the study notes that Galleon Bay, which is likely to be impacted by the project, is also degrading naturally.
The study also highlighted that the Portland Bight Protected Area is not exclusively an environmental conservatory and is intended to facilitate multiple activities in a sustainable manner.
It was pointed out that a number of commercial and industrial activities have long been a part of the area.
Meanwhile, pointing out that the protected area is home to a number of rare, threatened and endangered animals and plant species, Davies said the study has recommended that the necessary steps be taken to preserve the flora and fauna.
The Transport and Works Minister noted that the study is just a preliminary measure to ascertain information and serves as a guide in determining the appropriate issues to be addressed in an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Davies said the Port Authority will continue liaising with the Chinese investors to clarify the details of the project and work out a Framework Agreement which will be submitted for consideration by Cabinet.
Davies said if the project is approved by Cabinet, it will be submitted to the National Environment and Planning Agency for the determination of the Terms of Reference of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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