7 Things You Need to Know About Ocean Cay Marine Reserve

7 Things You Need to Know About Ocean Cay Marine Reserve

Last Updated on October 7, 2022 by Maria Kennedy

The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve is the first marine reserve in the Bahamas, and it’s an essential step toward preserving marine life. An official marine reserve will help protect the area’s marine life, but there’s a lot you should know about this new designation.

The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve is small but essential because there are no other marine reserves in that part of The Bahamas. Whether you are a visitor to the area or a future resident of the Bahamas, we’ve got some insider information that will help you understand this new designation and its implications for the local ecosystem and community.

Here are seven things you need to know about the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve:

1. Why Ocean Cay Marine Reserve was designated

 

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The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve was designated to protect marine life in the area, including coral reefs and marine animals like turtles and dolphins. For many years, the Ocean Cay area was frequented by fishermen and divers.

Then, in February 2014, a ship ran aground in the area, causing an oil spill. This event put the spotlight on the lack of protection in the area, especially for coral reefs. The government reacted by designating this area a Marine Protected Area that would be restricted to fishing and diving activities. 

After the government’s designation, the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve was established. It was officially designated in June 2016 and became the first marine reserve in the Northern Red Sea.

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2. How to get to ocean cay marine

 

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If you’re planning to visit the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve from outside the Bahamas, it’s best to board a cruise line that offers trips to the island. Several cruise lines frequent the island at different times of the year. They include MSC Divina, MSC Magnifica, MSC Seascape, MSC Seashore, and MSC Seaside. You can book a spot at Ocean Cay through their official websites.

3. Ocean cay marine excursions

The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve is an excellent place for diving and snorkeling. Several excursions can help you better understand the area and its wildlife. Some of the Ocean Cay excursions include: 

  • Wildlife Cruise – This cruise takes you along the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve coast to explore its seas and mangrove forests. You’re likely to see a large variety of birds and crabs. You may also spot dolphins and turtles near the coast and fish in the open sea. 
  • Birdwatching Tour – This tour takes you to a nearby natural area where you can spot various birds. You may see species such as the golden oriole, white-cheeked robin, and desert lark.

Other excursions include jet skiing, a shipwreck tour, a paddleboard tour, an ocean cay lighthouse climb, and a guided kayak tour.

4. Ocean cay beaches

 

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Ocean Cay is famous for its pristine white sand beaches. It has several beaches, some of which are in the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. While you can’t go to all the beaches, a couple can still be visited. 

The best beaches at Ocean Cay are Blue Beach and Lagoon Beach. While the Blue Beach is not in the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve but steps away, Lagoon Beach is in the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve but less busy than Blue Beach. 

It’s a special spot to relax, swim in the clear blue water, and take in the stunning views of the nearby islands. Other Ocean Cay beaches include the rocky Sandy Beach, beautiful Sunset Beach, and calm Dolphin Beach.

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5. Things you can do at ocean cay marine

 

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There are several things you can do in Ocean Cay, including:

  • Swimming – Ocean Cay has some beautiful beaches where you can swim. Visit the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve’s beaches to swim in the clear blue water.
  • Snorkeling – Ocean Cay is a great place to snorkel, especially at the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. You’ll see tons of beautiful marine life while snorkeling at the marine reserve. 
  • Kayaking – Kayaking is another great activity at Ocean Cay. Visit the marine reserve to kayak on the calm water, and you might see some marine life like dolphins or turtles.
  • Walking – There are several hiking trails within the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve. These trails take you through thick mangrove forests, where you are likely to see crabs and birds. 

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6. Ocean cay marine amenities

 

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The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve has several amenities, including a general store, restaurant, and diving and snorkeling shop. The general store is stocked with various essential items, such as food, beverages, and souvenirs.

The restaurant serves a selection of seafood dishes and dishes made with rice. Besides, the Ocean Cay Marine Reserve also has a diving and snorkeling shop that stocks diving gear, such as masks, fins, and snorkels, and a selection of underwater cameras. 

7. There is no accommodation at ocean cay

Although MSC cruise ships dock at Ocean Cay late into the evening and stay overnight on occasion for a two-day visit, there is no accommodation for visitors. You may visit Ocean Cay, but you may not stay overnight there. 

If you need to stay late, look for a cruise that arrives in the afternoon and departs the following evening or those that depart in the morning and stay for two days. In addition, you may not camp on the sand, even if you stay overnight. Passengers must be on board by midnight or 1 a.m.

Final thoughts

The Ocean Cay Marine Reserve is a great place to explore marine life. It is a beautiful area preserved for marine life and a must-see for divers and snorkelers. If you are planning to visit the reserve, stick to the paths and avoid touching or disturbing the coral reefs and other marine life. You can also enjoy the area’s many amenities, such as resorts with restaurants, general stores, and diving and snorkeling shops.

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About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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