Tobago Cays Marine Park

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.


f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral no no no
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Cymodoceaceae: Syringodium filiforme no no no
Hydrocharitaceae: Thalassia testudinum no no no
Rhizophoraceae: Rhizophora mangle no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas no no no
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata no no no
Reptiles: Dermochelys coriacea no no no
Birds: Sterna antillarum antillarum no no no
Pelecanidae: pelecanus occidentalis no no no
Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Hydrozoa: Milleporidae no no no
Anthozoa : Gorgonacea no no no
Anthozoa : Scleractinia no no no
Molluscs: Strombus gigas no no no
Crustaceans: Panulirus argus no no no
Reptiles: Iguana iguana no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

The Tobago Cays is the only Marine Park in St Vincent. It falls under the National Parks and Protected Areas System Plan 2010-2014. This policy outlines the series of protected areas across land and sea, which are managed by a variety of bodies. The TCMP authority has limited involvement in this plan, and operates independently. 

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
Protection zone to provide protection from extractive uses such as fishing while allowing entry and recreational use (excluding fishing) to the waters and islands of the Cays, on payment of the park entry fee.
Buffer zone To maintain the natural appearance of the coastline of Mayreau on the eastern side of the island facing the Tobago Cays.
Management zone To provide for relatively unrestricted activities of the residents of Mayreau and visitors to that island, while providing the option to apply local restrictions in future as needed.
Anchoring zones and mooring buoys To provide safe and secure options for anchoring and mooring of different sizes of vessels while protecting the park’s marine resources from anchor damage.
Windsurfing zone To provide a location for wind surfing within the park, that is close to the Cays, but clearly separate from the anchoring zones and reef areas.
Conservation exclusion zones One for sea grass/turtles and one for sea birds. Objective (1): To provide protection to species of special concern (e.g. vulnerable, threatened, endangered or over-exploited species of high commercial value) and to any habitats which are critical to the survival of such species (e.g. breeding, nesting, nursery, feeding and roosting grounds). Objective (2): To set aside some parts of the park and restrict any human use, access or influence and thereby provide ‘control’ locations to estimate the effects of use in other open areas and provide guidance for management.

i - Enforcement measures and policies

Article 6.(3) of the Marine Parks Act (No. 9 of 1997) allows for a fine not exceeding $5,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year for any person committing the following offences while in a marine park:

·         fishing in the sea forming part of the marine park;

·         removing any object from the marine park;

·         removing or damaging any facility or equipment including buoys;

·         damaging or impairing the growth of any flora or fauna;

·         by any negligent act or omission damaging the substrata or causing pollution of the air or the sea;

·         carrying on any commercial activities except in an area designated for this purpose; or

·         any other act which is prohibited by the Act or Regulations.

In cases where equipment has been removed or damaged, the culprit shall also be liable for its replacement or repair. According to Article 6.(4) of the Regulations, any person in breach of the rules against commercial activities shall in addition to the prescribed penalty be liable to have their articles of trade confiscated. Article 21 of the Marine Parks (Tobago Cays) Regulations (No. 26. of 1998) further allows for the same fine or imprisonment for any person committing the following offences:

·         anchoring, mooring, diving or filming in the TCMP prior to paying the prescribed fees;

·         anchoring or mooring a vessel outside an area designated for this purpose;

·         carrying out or participating in any activity that could endanger the health or safety of a

·         member of the public;

·         keeping or rearing any animals;

·         erecting any camp or engaging in camping activities; or

·         exceeding a speed of 10 knots per hour while in charge of a vessel within 240 yards or

·         an anchorage or mooring site.


Authorised Officers

The Marine Parks Board is empowered under Article 5 of the Marine Parks (Tobago Cays) Regulations (No. 26. of 1998) to appoint ‘officers’ for the purpose of enforcing the regulations relating to marine parks.

Section 20 of the 1998 Regulations describes the powers of arrest of the park’s authorised officers. Where a person who commits, attempts to commit or is suspected of committing any offence against the park regulations (as listed in Section 22.1), an authorised officer may demand that the person stops committing the offence and require the person to give his or her name and address. If the person refuses to stop, or is suspected of giving a false name and address, the authorised officer may then (and only then) arrest the person without a warrant and deliver him or her to the nearest police station to be charged.

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site no
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: no

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

not specified

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff 13
Physical ressources Equipments There is a list of equipment in Chapter 6. MANAGEMENT - Legal framework, management body.
Financial ressources Present sources of funding Funded through entry fees and other fees and fines. The budget changes each year depending on visitor numbers. Over the last 5 years income has been between $340,000 and $180,000 USD.
Sources expected in the future
Annual budget (USD) 230000

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).

The TCMP has an management plan that is being implemented effectively. The TCMP is self-funded and has a clear management structure. It has dedicated staff and a good amount of equipment and resources. It has good connections with other conservation organisations across the Eastern Caribbean, as demonstrated in the turtle monitoring with WILDCAST. The park has clear zones, and has made good efforts to set out conservation areas to protect biodiversity, while also seeking social and economic benefits. The management framework has excellent management measures for each zone, backed by effective enforcement measures. It has worked closely with local stakeholders and has a good relationship with local NGOs such as SusGren. The National Parks and Protected Areas System Plan 2010-2014 applauded the effective management of the TCMP. The TCMP has recently completed a strategic plan which sets out measures to improve the management effectiveness of the Board, particularly around strategic issues (rather than daily park management), which should result in improved monitoring and evaluation of progress. Overall the TCMP is making good progress towards its overall goal  “to protect, conserve and improve the natural resources of the Tobago Cays”.