Petition launched to halt Dolphin Cove establishment in Discovery Bay

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

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ST ANN, Jamaica — The Discovery Bay Community Development Committee (CDC) has started an online petition for the Prime Minister Andrew Holness-led administration to withdraw its approval for the construction of a new Dolphin Cove attraction in Discovery Bay, St Ann.

The petition on change.org reads in part, “Despite objections to the construction of a captive dolphin facility raised by the Marine Scientists of The University of The West Indies Marine Lab, Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), The Discovery Bay CDC and The Fishermen's Co-op of Discovery Bay, the Government has granted a restricted permit to a new Dolphin Cove attraction at the Puerto Seco Beach development.”

The Discovery Bay CDC, along with other parties, have listed several objections to the facility, including claims that Discovery Bay is a fish sanctuary; the bay is in a very calm cove and excrement from dolphins will not be quickly washed out into the open sea.

The petition claims that the National Environment Planning Agency (NEPA) did not explain its issuing of a restricted permit for the new facility despite the possibility of negatively affecting the environmental resources in the area.

“NEPA's media statement does not clarify why a restricted permit was granted for the facility. NEPA also stated that if water in the Bay is negatively affected the permit will be withdrawn. We believe the precautionary principle should apply and we should not wait for damage to be done to take action,” the petition said.

Efforts to contact NEPA for a response to the claims have proven futile.

At the time of publication, 1,277 people have signed the petition.

The target is 20,000 signatures, and is expected to be achieved by December 15, 2018.

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