Treasure Beach and Vicinity

Treasure Beach is a series of small fishing villages along a string of bays: Great Bay, Calabash Bay, Frenchman’s Bay and Billy’s Bay. Until , fishermen built their canoes from hollowed out cotton trees and waterproofed the vessels by painting them in distinctive colors. Some of the old canoes can still be seen on the beach. The design is that of the Amerindian Arawaks who settled in Jamaica from about 500AD to 800AD and the only modern change is the replacement of sails and oars by outboard motors.

Bay beaches are separated by rocky headlands where crabs scurry in tide pools populated by Chitons and an assortment of small sea creatures. Schools of fish, dolphins and sometimes sea cows (manatees) can be viewed from the rocks. They are called ‘sea cows’ because these huge marine mammals graze on the shallow, grassy sea beds. Moray eels and spiny lobsters hide in the nooks and crannies of the rocky places and the nearby reefs are colored by purple sea fans and orange sponges. Unfortunately, much of Jamaica’s marine life has dwindled over the past half century due to over fishing and Hurricane Gilbert damaged many of the shallow reefs around the island in 1988.”


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