About the Centre

The Centre for Marine Sciences (CMS) forms part of the Department of Life Sciences and has responsibility for the Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory, as well as the Caribbean Coastal Data Centre.

Our Mission

To engage in research, training and outreach in Caribbean Marine Sciences using research and exploration to aid in the management of Marine and Coastal Zone processes.

Our Work

We believe that maintaining the health of our coastal resources is vital to the continued growth and development of not only Jamaica, but the Caribbean as a whole. To this end, we carry out activities not only around the island of Jamaica, but also offshore on the cays as well as in various Caribbean territories.

The status of Jamaica's coral reef ecosystem forms an important part of the operational plan of the CMS which is being achieved through Reef Check, where reefs across the island are methodically surveyed (14 locations in 2008) by the Jamaica Coral Reef Monitoring Network (JCRMN) coordinated in the CMS. The operational plan has taken on regional importance as the Caribbean Coastal Data Centre within the CMS, funded by the Mainstream Adaptation to Climate Change (MACC) project, has conducted coral reef video-monitoring in seven countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Centre focuses on threats to biodiversity, looking at areas such as Climate Change, invasive species, habitat destruction, overfishing and water quality. In some cases prjects aimed at developing management programmes for the affected areas have been implemented.

We strive to ensure that projects are executed within budgeted time and costs. Data collected include benthic cover on coral reefs, seagrass and mangrove biomass and growth measures, sea surface temperature, air temperature and rainfall.

Our Partners

We have been conducting research and performing outreach with various partners and groups for over 20 years. Currently, we provide project development, monitoring, data archiving and outreach services to local, regional and international governmental and non-governmental agencies.

Recommendations are made to the National Environment and Planning Agency through committees such as the Ramsar and the Biodiversity committees where CMS is represented as well as to other government and Non-Governmental partners through the National Council on Coastal and Ocean and Coastal Zone Management.