Carlisle Bay Marine Park

This area is located on the south western coast of Barbados and is a calm, sheltered area where a variety of recreational activities occur on a daily basis. The bay is popular for diving, snorkelling, and the anchoring and sailing of yachts.

The marine biodiversity in Carlisle Bay is extremely rich, with more than three hundred and fifty (350) species of tropical flora and fauna. Among these are organisms such as the frog fish (Antennarius multiocellatus), which is rare in Barbados, and the sea horse (Hippocampus erectus) which is rare worldwide. These, and other organisms, live on the scattered patch reefs and artificial reefs in the form of sunken ships which make up the primary ecosystems in the area. At present there are five (5) major wrecks in the bay: the Berwyn, the Fox, the C-Trec, the Bajan Queen and the Eillon, which attract more than forty (40) dive boats and glass bottom boats on a weekly basis.

The idea of protecting Carlisle Bay was brought to the Government by the Professional Association of Dive Operators (PADO) in 1993. The divers had observed a deterioration of the marine ecosystems in the area and attributed the decline to 'anchor damage, pollution from land-based sources and from heavy use of the area by visitors and locals'. Coupled with the uniqueness of the area, it seemed essential that the bay be protected in order to preserve and possibly rehabilitate the systems in the area. The Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) firmly supported the suggestion that Carlisle Bay be designated as a protected area. As a result, the CZMU currently maintains demarcation lines that indicate the northern and southern limits of the protected area as well as a number of mooring buoys within this area.