6th Community Research Symposium
Fishing communities across the length and breadth of our nation are facing a number of challenges that take many forms – from coastal development limiting access to the shoreline, conflicts with other resource users, pollution from land-based runoff, oil spills, to overexploitation of resources. According to Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Planning and Development, Ms. Joanne Deoraj, these challenges adversely place our local coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs at risk while rendering fish and other seafood unfit to eat, and impacting livelihoods.
Delivering the feature address at the Institute of Marine Affairs’ (IMA) 6th Community Symposium, which was convened on the 14th August 2019, the Permanent Secretary reiterated the Government’s commitment to work alongside key stakeholders such as the Institute of Marine Affairs and other government and non-governmental agencies to protect and conserve our marine resources.
Themed, “Sea and Me: Livelihoods and Learning” the symposium brought together representatives from the Carenage Community, academia, private sector and key government stakeholders to learn about the state of the marine resources along the northwest peninsula of Trinidad from Glencoe to Chaguaramas, clarify misinformation and share lessons and practical solutions for tackling complex coastal issues. The presentations focused on the impacts of the seagrass loss in William’s Bay; bathing beach water quality along the Chaguaramas Peninsula; the importance of using oil fingerprinting techniques and radar systems to detect oil spills and identify responsible party; the suitability of fish population sizes to prevent overfishing; the feasibility of a mariculture industry for Trinidad and Tobago; and solutions to coastal challenges on the North-West Peninsula through the ICZM process.
IMA Community Research Symposium continues to provide a platform for dialogue between the scientific community, governments and community stakeholders on marine resource management. The IMA is committed to providing important scientific information to coastal community on the state of their resources, so they can become meaningfully engaged in its management.