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INTRODUCTION The coral reefs located off the north coast of the Jamaican mainland are some of the best and most studied reefs in the world (Hughes 1994). In contrast, very few research studies have been conducted on the banks located off the south coast of Jamaica. The first and only comprehensive coral reef assessment was conducted on a portion of Pedro Bank in 2005 (Kramer 2006). Other studies have focused on fisheries assessments, socioeconomic studies and terrestrial work (Nicholson and Hartsuijter 1982; Munro 1983; Koslov et al. 1988; Espuet 2006; Hay 2006; Kramer 2006 ). Since the mid 1990s, human populations on the Cays have greatly expanded, and pressures on the reefs and associated resources have been exacerbated. Considerable work has been done in the development of management measures to address these changes and protect these resources. This includes development of a possible zoning strategy, including the adoption of marine protected areas (i.e. a fishery reserve off southwest Cay). At the time of the research, protective measures had not yet been adopted for these areas, although stakeholder consultations have been completed and recommendations have been provided to the relevant government agencies in Jamaica. Pedro Bank is a submerged bank rising abruptly from about 500 m depth. It is located about 58 km off Jamaica at its closest point (Portland Point) and roughly 98 km from Kingston, Jamaica (latitude 16° 43’ N and 17° 35' N and longitude 77° 20’ and 79° 02’ W). It extends over an area of 8,040 km2 and has a circumference of roughly 590 km. Much of the bank is relatively shallow (about 10-24 m depth) with extensive grassbed, rubble and sandy habitats and scattered patch reefs. A well developed coral reef fringes the eastern edge of the bank, dropping quickly into deep water. The bank gradually deepens in a NW direction; the shallowest (S and SW) end faces into the Caribbean current and has the best developed reefs. Pedro Bank includes a group of three small emergent low-lying coralline cays, a fourth highly eroded Cay (South Cay), and a few small emergent rocks (Portland Rock, Blower Rock, Southwest Rock and Shannon Rock). Two of the cays are permanently inhabited and the third is used only as a temporary base for fishermen. Northeast Cay is the most northerly of the three cays. It is the second largest Cay. The dominant manmade structure on this cay is a lighthouse located on the northern shore. Many of the dwellings on this cay are located in the vicinity of the  

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Profile for Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

Global Reef Expedition Final Report: Jamaica  

In March of 2012, scientists on the Global Reef Expedition set out to assess the community structure, health, and resilience of corals and c...

Global Reef Expedition Final Report: Jamaica  

In March of 2012, scientists on the Global Reef Expedition set out to assess the community structure, health, and resilience of corals and c...

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