MPA: Marine Protected Area, a general term. The MPA on the west coast of Barbados is variously  described as the Barbados Marine Reserve (BMR) and the Folkestone Marine Protected Area.


“The Barbados Marine Reserve (BMR) is a 2.2 km² protected area occupying one of the most impacted and intensely used stretches along the west coast of Barbados.

Screencapture from Biopama; click on image to go to larger image on Biopama

“It was designated in 1981 to maintain coastal and marine ecosystems in their natural state, provide an area where marine species could breed undisturbed, offer recreational areas for residents and tourists and provide a protected area where scientist and students could engage in research.

“The Reserve consists of four zones:

  • [Zone 1] Scientific Zone Designated for marine research: No motor power craft access unless permitted for research or enforcement, and then speeds are limited to 5 knots.
  • [Zones 2 & 4] Northern and Southern Designated Water Sports Zones for fast speed watercraft use: All motorised watercraft must operate at speeds less than 5 knots/no wake within 75m from shore, and speed boats can operate at higher speeds within 75 – 200m from shore. Jet skis must maintain speeds of less than 5 knots within 200m of shore and can operate at higher speeds beyond 200m from shore.
  • [Zone 3] Recreational ZoneΩ Designated for recreation, including swimming, snorkelling and fishing: There are no restrictions on watercraft entry, however, speed restrictions apply.”

From First-ever protected area management effectiveness assessment conducted for the Barbados Marine Reserve
On 28 October 2020


Fringing Reefs in the Folkestone MPA viewed on Google Earth. Reef Numbers are from Table 2, and Figs 22-24 in Maclean & Oxenford, 2016. The MPA Zones extend further seaward than shown above (to 660- 950 meters from shore). Total area is 2.1 sq kilometers, There are patch and bank reefs situated  offshore from the fringing reefs – see Appendix 1 map in IABIN 2010.  ZONES I: Scientific Zone;  2: Northern Water Sports Zone; 3: Recreational Zone; 4: Southern Water Sports Zone.


Barbados ReefFix Exercise Draft Report: Economic Valuation of Goods and ServicesDerived from Coral Reefs in the Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve
IABIN. 2010. Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network, OAS, 57 pages. Pages 3-14 provide history of the MPA, maps, environmental issues etc.

The Barbados (alias Folkestone) Marine Reserve, Barbados: A Late Bloomer?
ROBIN MAHON and MICHAEL B. MASCIA 2003. Gulf and Caribbean Research. 14. 10.18785/gcr.1402.14. Abstract: The Barbados Marine Reserve (BMR) is a 2.2 km² no-take marine reserve occupying one of the most intensely used and impacted sections of the coast and comprises four zones: Scientific, Northern Watersports, Recreational, Southern Watersports. Establishment of the BMR in 1981 did little to change the de facto marine resource governance regime for the area. There was minimal consultation of stakeholders in determining the zoning and regulations. Fishers were negatively impacted, and no user group derived significant benefits from the reserve. A mandate to maximise revenues led the National Conservation Commission (NCC), responsible for BMR management, to virtually abandon the reserve. Efforts to spur institutional change were not effective, because of the centralized authority of the NCC and the belief that the BMR could not generate revenue. In 1998, the Government initiated a study to reform marine resource governance within the BMR and adjacent areas. Stakeholder consultation revealed complex patterns of use in the area. Recommendations, adopted by the Government in March, 2001 included establishing a broader Marine Protected Area (MPA) along an expanded coastline (from 2.6 km to 9.5 km) with seven types of management zones, and renaming the area as the Folkestone Marine Managed Area. Also proposed was a Marine Management Area Authority, within the Ministry of the Environment’s Coastal Zone Management Unit, to designate and manage MPA’s.

Coastal Zone Management Unit: Folkestone Marine Protected Area

Community-Based Coral Reef Monitoring And Management: Baseline survey of coral reefs within the Folkestone Marine Reserve, St. James, Barbados. October 2009
Blackman, K. and R. Goodridge. 2009.Report No. 5 of the Communitybased Coral Reef Monitoring and Management Project. 27pp. “This paper seeks to provide information on the status of the nearshore and bank reefs within the Folkestone Marine Reserve in Barbados in efforts to develop a coral reef monitoring database to assist with long term monitoring of the reefs at the Folkestone Park and Marine Reserve Office.
The coral reef monitoring programme – Reef Watchers – primarily focused on
engaging the local dive community to monitor the reefs. Through training sessions,
nineteen volunteers were trained to use the Reef Watchers protocol which was
modified from the Reef Check methodology. A total of six reefs within the
Folkestone Marine Reserve were surveyed from June 2008 to August 2009. Results of the surveys indicate that the reefs are in fairly good condition with a wide variety of fish and hard corals species observed across the bank and fringing reefs.
Anthropogenic activities are still having a negative impact on the reefs within the
reserve. The lessons learnt from the Reef Watchers programme focused on the
importance of engaging the community in coral reef monitoring, ensuring
sustainability of the programme and efficient data collection by volunteers.”

Coastal Zone Management Unit: 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…

Nearshore/Fringing Reefs of the Barbados Folkestone MPV, from Google Earth. View species for the area on iNaturalist