Of the Cays
The Fisheries Division of the government of St. Vincent and
the Grenadines (SVG) designated the Tobago Cays a
conservation area as part of the Fisheries Regulations of
In 1997, the SVG government promulgated the Marine Parks
Act, which declared the Tobago Cays a marine park and
created a marine park board to oversee the management of the
TCMP and any future marine parks.
In 1998, the SVG government formally adopted marine park
regulations. A year later St. Vincent and the Grenadines
purchased the Tobago Cays, which had until that time been
privately owned, from the Tobago Cays Holding Company for
US$1,025,000, well below market value, with the stipulation
that it would remain a national park in perpetuity.
In 2005, the TCMP was selected as one of six protected area
demonstration sites for the Organization of Eastern
Caribbean States (OECS) Protected Areas and Associated
Livelihoods (OPAAL) project. The OPAAL project, funded by
the Global Environment Facility through the World Bank; the
Fonds Francais de L’Environnement Mondial (FFEM); and the
Organization of American States (OAS),
currently in its fifth year of implementation, has provided
St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the TCMP with resources
for and technical assistance in strengthening protected area
management, the development of sustainable livelihood
opportunities, and capacity building.
With the support of the OPAAL project, a new management plan
was drafted in 2006 and endorsed in early 2007 by Cabinet.
Also in 2006, concurrent with the establishment of a user
fee system and the gazetting of park boundaries, the TCMP
was relaunched as a marine park. In the last four years, the
TCMP has worked to achieve its objectives of protecting the
resources of the Tobago Cays for the people of St. Vincent &