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Home: USES: Human Settlements on the Coast: Types of Habitats at Risk: Estuaries: Hunt's Bay, Kingston Harbour, Jamaica, Caribbean Sea
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Hunt's Bay, Kingston Harbour, Jamaica, Caribbean Sea
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Hunt's Bay enters Kingston Harbour from the northwest. It is a shallow and poorly flushed bay that is both polluted (both organics and metals) and eutrophic.
Two rivers run into the bay and bring with them the usual mix of sediments and pollution from upstream sources. Impacts of this pollution have intensified over the past decades as the population of Kingston City has grown and grown. Immediately surrounding the bay are industries including breweries, distilleries, tanning and food processing, as well as Kingston's main land-fill site and one of its main sewage treatment plants. Research suggests that the bay has always been poorly flushed however, the construction of a causeway in the late 1960s severely aggravated the problem and sedimentation from local developments combined with the excessive input of nutrients and organic material has led to oxygen-deficient bottom waters across much of the bay. This eutrophication means any benthic, mangrove, or wetland communities that once lived in the bay have long ago disappeared.
This eutrophic environment means fish and invertebrates have no oxygen and cannot survive. Kingston harbour has a traditional nearshore fishery that is under threat from the sediment pollution from Hunt's Bay. Even if the pollution sources entering Hunt's Bay were stopped the layers of sediment are now so contaminated that they intrinsically represent a huge source of pollution.
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