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IMA > Marine Bulletin

BULLETIN: Suspected Harmful­ Algal Bloom around Tobago

Over the last few days, the Institute of Affairs (IMA) has received reports of fish kills at four sites along Tobago’s Atlantic coast – Delaford Bay, Roxborough, Lambeau Beach and on Flying Reef along Tobago’s south coast. Dead marine life was observed along beaches and in the water, mainly consisting of reef fish species such as parrotfish, snapper, butterflyfish, trumpetfish and other species including eels and octopuses. Simultaneously, reports of a possible “red tide” were reported in the same areas over the weekend. Divers observed large pockets of warm, reddish water extending to 50 feet along the Atlantic coast. This may be indicative of...

Bleaching Coral

Coral Bleaching Alert for Tobago

In September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coral Reef Watch has placed Trinidad and Tobago under Bleaching Alert Level 2, where severe, widespread bleaching and significant coral mortality are very likely. Reports of moderate coral bleaching have been received from several sites around Tobago including Store Bay, South Coast, Mt Irvine, and Englishman’s Bay by marine users. Bleached boulder brain coral at Castara in August Bleached grooved brain coral at Mt Irvine in September As part of Tobago’s Bleaching Response Plan, the Institute of Marine Affairs has alerted all stakeholders that work in the marine environment, and have made an appeal for any observations of...

The Marine Resilience Initiative, Tobago (Pilot Project)

Tobago waters are rich in marine biodiversity, home to unique and interconnected ecosystems, such as the Buccoo coral reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Complex made up of seagrass and mangroves. Most of Tobago’s Caribbean coast is fringed by coral reefs extending to the northeast Tobago, UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. For over ten years, the Institute of Marine Affairs has been monitoring the health of coral reefs and seagrasses around Tobago. Unfortunately, we have observed several disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring conducted by IMA has...

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) and Tobago’s Coral Reefs

By Dr. Anjani Ganase, Coral Reef EcologistInstitute of Marine Affairs History of the SCTLD Disease Between 2014 and 2017 along the Florida Reef Tract, the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) spread over a 100 kilometers  of reefs. As the disease spread to other locations, it left in its wake, high coral mortality among some of the most common and crucial species found on Caribbean reefs. Today, the spread is much wider with latest survey reports showing outbreaks of the SCTLD disease throughout the Great Antilles, along the Mesoamerican Barrier reef and with observations of SCTLD as far south as St Lucia. The direction of the...