Point Counterpoint: The Goat Islands port facility: A win for development or a loss for environment?

The Goat Islands are two near-shore limestone areas, part of the Hellshire geological feature. Great Goat Island is approximately 96 metres high and Little Goat Island is 27 metres. There are several pre-Columbian settlements (Taino Indian) on the island as well as the remains of the US Naval base from World War Two. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has identified the area as the site to construct port facilities as part of the Logistics Hub Project.

Gordon Shirley explains why the site was chosen; "We looked at areas close to Port Esquivel, and Rocky Point, and Jackson Bay. The challenges in these locations involve exposure to the wind conditions and the cost associated with managing those ports"... More

Conrad Douglas says a port on the Goat Islands can be economically positive for Jamaica but the risks must be assessed; "A transshipment port may be established in the Portland Bight Protected Area and on the Goat Islands with appropriate linkages to the mainland"... More

Brandon Hay says the construction would contradict years of development planning and would damage this ecologically sensitive area. "We can therefore expect a significant increase in all forms of environmental pollution as a result of the development of the port; a polluted environment will result in loss of options for tourism development"... More

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