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IMA > 2019 > May

“Fish Kill” vs “Fish Dump”

Farahnaz N. Solomon PhdResearch Officer, Institute of Marine Affairs Lately, there has been a lot of interest about fish kill in the media, do you know what is a fish kill? How can you tell the difference between a “fish kill” and a “fish dump”? A “fish kill” is a significant and sudden death of fish or other aquatic animals in a clearly defined area. This area can occur in marine, estuarine or inland waters. Whilst there are many causes of fish kills, the most prevalent causes are due to natural events rather than human activity. Common causes include low dissolved oxygen levels, pH stress,...

Rip Currents: Exercise Caution at our Beaches

Christopher Alexis, Research OfficerInstitute Of Marine Affairs The holidays are here again, and the beaches will beckon many a holiday-maker to its shores.  But as you venture close, remember to exercise caution and practice safe bathing habits as a relaxing and fun trip to the beach can turn sour with just one rogue sea current.  Bathers need to be aware of rip currents. Rip currents are powerful, channelled currents of water flowing away from shore which can easily pull unwary bathers quickly out to sea. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf zone (the area of breaking waves bounded by the point of first breakers, then landward to the maximum uprush of...

Easter Time Beach Lime: Ensure Its All Benefits and No Blues

Christine Bullock, Senior Research Officer (Microbiologist) Institute of Marine Affairs Easter time in Trinidad and Tobago is synonymous with beach limes.  For some Trinbagonians, beaches are the ideal party venue. Yet for others, beaches induce feelings of Zen, having reaped as Christina Heiser puts it “the benefits of all that vitamin sea.” Did you ever wonder why that last beach outing left you so calm, so at peace, so relaxed, more engaged and even feeling a bit more creative? Clinical psychologists Richard Shuster and Sally Nazari suggest that this Zen state may result from changes in our brain waves’ frequency from staring at the ocean, from negative ions inhaled in sea air and from...

Fascinating Facts: Benthic Organisms

Attish Kanhai, Research Officer (Benthic Ecology)Institute of Marine Affairs For many Trinbagonians, spending time outdoors is commonplace, particularly during public and/or religious holidays, which is almost like a ritual and during the July-August vacation months for school pupils and students. There are so many places to visit, whether it be Maracas or Las Cuevas Beach, Caroni Swamp or Buccoo Reef in Tobago. When you take a breath of fresh air and do decide to explore, do you know what organisms you can find at these locations? Benthic Organisms! Benthic Organisms are creatures that live in or on bottom sediments, such as, the sand at the beach, mud flats at the Caroni Swamp or...

Marine Pollution: The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Recycling

Alicia C. Barrie, On the Job Trainee, Institute of Marine Affairs Over the years, Trinidad and Tobago has produced increasing amounts of Municipal Solid Waste, with high amounts of single-use plastics entering our marine ecosystem. Our high level of mismanaged pollution clutters the landscapes, degrades the overall health and viability of our fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and harms marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest these plastics. As citizens, we have grown accustomed to discarding our garbage wherever we go, whether it be on the beach, in rivers, or on the roadside. Our polluting habits introduce toxins, foul odours and other...

Promoting Marine and Coastal Awareness

Lorraine Barrow, Institute of Marine Affairs Our coasts and ocean are not only places that we go to rest and relax, and heal, but they are lifelines to island states.  These are places for most of our trade and economic activities.  An IDB study revealed that in 2015, 81% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was generated from our wider coastal zone that extends 200 nautical miles to our Exclusive Economic Zone.  Our coastal and marine resources are vital since they support our livelihoods, supply jobs in the energy and tourism sectors and provide us with food.  How many of us are aware of the significant connection between our marine resources and our daily lives. ...

Carnival of the Sea

Lester W. Doodnath, Institute of Marine Affairs The people of Trinidad and Tobago share a very special connection with our coastal and marine environment. Our coastal and marine environments provide us with numerous ecosystem services including spaces for rest and recreation. Our connection is realised in our wide and varied use of the resource for entertainment, built development, commercial/recreational fishing and petroleum exploitation to list but a few. Our seas and coastlines also serve as inspiration for our artistic and cultural expressions. Nowhere is this demonstrated more, than at the annual carnival celebrations. In 2018 alone, there were Seatopia (Theatrical Kidz) and Scarlet Ibis, Do Not Eat Ah Food (Lee Poy-Moko Jumbie Mas)...