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China eyes protected zone to build transshipment port in Jamaica

The 724-square-mile Portland Bight area was protected by Jamaica in 1999 to safeguard reefs, wetlands, and fish nurseries



KINGSTON, Jamaica—Jamaica’s environment minister says a much-discussed transshipment port is being considered for the Caribbean island’s largest protected area.

Robert Pickersgill made the disclosure in Beijing, where he is accompanying Jamaica’s prime minister for a five-day visit. They are meeting with Chinese political and business leaders.

Pickersgill says the Goat Islands in Jamaica’s southern protected zone of Portland Bight is “under very serious consideration” as the site for the planned port. He told Jamaican reporters travelling with the delegation that state-owned China Harbor Engineering Co. wants to build it there.

In Jamaica, conservationists said that a transshipment hub would have a devastating impact on the area’s coastal environment.

The 724-square-mile Portland Bight area was protected by Jamaica in 1999 to safeguard reefs, wetlands, and fish nurseries.

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