The Jamaican government has decided to relocate plans to develop a trans-shipment port and industrial park on Goat Islands in the Portland Bight Protected Area following concerns raised among the environmental groups with respect to one of the world’s most endangered species, the Jamaican rock iguana.
Initially, the terminal was decided to be sited at Goat Islands which is part of the Portland Bight Protected Area. Although, none of the lizards remain on the island, environmentalists argue that the port facility will have a side effect on the marine life and fisheries in the area which sustain local communities.
However, biologists who have joined a plan to preserve the Jamaican iguana, have revealed their plans to return the iguanas to a habitat where they once thrived, the Goat Islands, a mile off Jamaica’s mainland. There, they could live threat-free and relatively unhelped by humans, NY reports.
Chinese firm China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) also wants to construct a transshipment port at Goat Islands, but there have been strong push back from environmentalists.
In late September, Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, announced that they have cancelled their plans to construct a seaport in the area.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) September 23, 2016
Conservation groups have welcomed the decision but the next proposed location still remains an open issue. Moreover, there is currently on schedule other plans for Goat Island and the Portland Bight to build an LNG receiving terminal close to the protected island and within the natural reserve. The terminal would consist of a vessel berth, a pipeline to shore and a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). The area appeals to be the right choice for this new terminal because of its deep waters.