The Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary has been the ultimate team effort. Here are some of the characters that make the Sanctuary happen!
From left to right : David "Murray Peng" Murray, Layton Whitworth (aka Derry), Lenford DaCosta (aka Gore), Michael Sterling (aka Stone), Richard Pottinger (aka Curoo), Hugh Fannell (aka John), Theresa Ewin, Ray Grant, Carlton Brown (aka Zeda), Ian Dawson (aka Rat), Mario Richards (aka Scratchie), Randall Scott (aka Scuddie), Kendrick Simms (decd.), Ivanhoe Rose
David "Murray Peng" Murray - Chairman/Warden
David is a lifelong fisherman who learned the trade from his father. For the past 8 years he has served as President of the St. Mary Fishermen Cooperative and Chairman of the Jamaica Fisherman Cooperative Union. Currently a Warden and member of the OBFS Executive Board, David is the leader of his beloved fisher-folk in their effort to revive the fish population in Oracabessa Bay. In his own immortal words: "We need to give the fish time to sleep".
Jonathan "Goose" Gosse - Executive Member
Mr. Gosse is a dynamic, work-horse American turned Yardi. Through his good works in the community as the Executive Director of the Oracabessa Foundation he has gained the respect and trust of the St. Mary fisher-folk (which is no easy task mind you!). He has a knack for designing projects aimed at preserving marine ecosystems whilst creating socio-economic gains for the local population. Goose is an easy-going, approachable guy exuding high levels of energy at all times!
Inilek "Ini" Wilmot
Ini possesses a rare combination of scientific knowledge (he has a Masters in Marine Biology from the University of the West Indies) and people skills (he grew up on a fishing beach near Kingston) which make him a force within Jamaica's environmental protection sector. He started working with the Sanctuary in 2012 through a grant from CaribSave. He is now a full-time employee of the Oracabessa Foundation with primary responsibility to manage the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary. Oh, and he is also a champion surfer and plays in a well respected reggae band. Renaissance man for sure.
Hugh "John" Fannell - Executive Member/Warden
John is also a lifelong fisherman and knows the layout of the reef system in Oracabessa Bay like the back of his hand. He is a Warden and the Vice President to the St. Mary Fishermen Cooperative and is not shy when it comes to enforcing the no-fishing policy! John ceaselessly educates his fellow community members on the importance of a Fish Sanctuary in his hometown of Oracabessa.
Randall "Scuddy" Scott - Warden
Scuddy is on the front lines of the sea at all times when he’s not tending to his herd of goats. He's an energetic Warden and graces the OBFS with a unique vibrancy (he’s the guy you don’t want to get in an argument with!). Among the first fishermen to change their fishing practices amid hearing that they were detrimental to fish populations, he leads by examples and is a great role-model for Jamaican youth.
Carlton "King Mouse" McCrae - Warden
Carlton is cool, calm, collected and has a gravitating personality. Amongst the bravest fishermen, Mousey is deep sea fishermen going for the big fish. As a Warden he is constantly explaining the economic and environmental benefit of fishing in deeper waters. They don’t call him King for nothing and when he talks people listen!
Carlton "Zeda" Brown - Warden
Carlton is the son of the original fisherman in Oracabessa, Charlie Brown, and comes from a long-line of fishermen. Carlton is a no nonsense kind of guy making him a very effective Warden. Carlton processes information on-the-spot and is a quick learner attributing this quality to learning how to swim by being thrown overboard as a youngster. “Sink or swim” his father said, Carlton is an exceptional swimmer!
Michael "Flintstone" Sterling - Warden
Micheal is another "foundation" fisherman in Oracabessa Bay. Always ready, willing and able to lend a hand, he started out as an alternate warden and is now filling in when our primary wardens take time away.
Mel "The Turtle Man" Tennant - Executive Member
Mel is a guy who knows a little bit about a lot (and by a little bit we mean a lot!). Retiring from the education field after 30 years in England he moved to Jamaica in 2004 and bought a piece of land on a beach. That Beach happened to be Gibraltar Beach which is a nesting ground for many Hawksbill, Loggerhead, and Green Sea Turtles who all happen to be critically endangered. Since 2005 Mel has transformed Gibraltar Beach from a place to catch turtles for turtle soup into the most meticulously monitored and protected beach in Jamaica (not exaggerating!). Mel’s dedication to the turtles and the sanctuary make Oracabessa Bay truly unique.