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IMA > News

Our Valuable Marine Systems 

Coral reefs and seagrass meadows are some of the most diverse marine ecosystems. Coral reefs are home to 25% of life in the ocean. Seagrass meadows play an important role in keeping the oceans healthy and providing habitat for a wide array of marine organisms. A number of disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring (IMA) has shown up to 50 % coral loss from the 2010 bleaching with minimal recovery to date as a result of pollution and overfishing that limit the natural recovery processes. Seagrass beds...

Englishman's Bay, Tobago

MARIN Tobago, the next phase 

The main phase of the MARIN project has commenced following a renewed partnership between bp Trinidad and Tobago and the Institute of Marine Affairs with funding support from bp (UK).  MARIN Tobago intends to deliver long-term biodiversity conservation and restoration of Tobago’s marine ecosystems using a multifaceted approach: (1) building sustainable ocean resilience; (2) restoring of Tobago’s coral reefs and seagrass beds; (3) generating ocean stewardship through outreach and engagement. The project will focus on Tobago’s marine ecosystems within the Buccoo Reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Marine Protected Area (MPA), and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in Northeast Tobago. Both areas hold...

Marin Tobago team

The restoration journey continues, Project MARIN proceeds for another five years.  

Media release: September 11, 2023  The MARIN Tobago pilot brings needed attention to endangered coral reefs and seagrass meadows. The report on the pilot phase indicates the way forward for the next five years.   The Institute of Marine Affairs’ coral and seagrass restoration project, MARIN, has passed through a successful pilot phase and is now set to enter the main phase with support from bpTT.  Based on the success of the pilot project, bpTT has committed US$1 million in grant funding to support a 5-year work programme with the IMA to further their work in coral reef and seagrass restoration across Tobago, working in partnership with NGOs,...


Why Size Matters – How the Loss of the Ocean’s Megafauna is Affecting Our Ecosystems

Heracles, better known by his Roman name Hercules, is one of the most famous characters of Greek mythology. An illegitimate child of the Greek God Zeus, Heracles was the source of jealousy for Zeus’s legitimate wife Hera, hence his mother's naming him Heracles, which translates to “Hera’s glory”. Hera remained unmoved and in the red mist of anger, tricked Heracles into killing his wife and children, a crime for which his punishment became known as the 12 labours of Heracles.  Heracles’ 12 labours, were in essence, ridding the Greek universe of some of its most fearsome creatures such as lions, hydras, boars and bulls. I...

Dr Ava Maxam - Director, IMA

Welcome aboard, Dr. Ava Maxam, our newly appointed Director!

Dr. Ava Maxam has been appointed as the Director of the Institute of Marine Affairs with effect from September 4th, 2023. She brings extensive technical and management experience to the Institute with a particular focus in the areas of coastal and environmental management, sustainable development and spatial business solutions. A strong advocate for data-driven decision-making, Dr Maxam leverages Geographic information Systems (GIS) to create models, tools, and policies for modern resource management. She specialises in developing GIS-based analytical and decision-support systems that empower governments, civil society, and the private sector, which in turn strengthens their resilience to the impacts of natural and man-made hazards including...

Dr Anjani Ganase monitoring coral reefs - Institute of Marine Affairs

Tides Are Changing

By  Ruqayyah Thompson, Research Officer. International days are a powerful advocacy tool used to raise awareness on matters of public concern, garner political support and resources to address global problems as well as to celebrate humanity’s achievements. This month, we join with the global community to recognise World Oceans Day on June 8th under the theme, “Planet Ocean: Tides Are Changing”. The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and forms 95% of the biosphere, the part of the Earth where life exists. It produces at least 50% of the world’s oxygen and is a main source of protein for over a billion people. The...

MDH Rayna Sookeo IMA

A Portal to the IMA’s Marine Data Hub (MDH) – Get excited about data sharing!

Prepared by Ms Rayna Sookdeo, On-the-Job Trainee/ Geomatics, Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA). Did you know that the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) has its own data-sharing platform? Yes! This news is guaranteed to excite technicians, researchers, government agencies, academia, civil society and members of the public interested in the field of marine and environmental research. Join me as I dive into the reasons why this platform has everyone talking.  Through this article, I will explore the work that the IMA does and by extension, the importance of the platform and the Marine Data Hub (MDH) and the facilitators and contributors towards the project. I will...

VR Headset enables an Immersive Experience

Using Emerging Technologies to #BeatPlasticPollution Campaign

Author: Ms. Lorraine Barrow; Top photo: Wow Factor – VR Headset enables an Immersive Experience; Photograph Credit: Alicia Kwok. The idyllic vacation package often brings to mind a stretch of a pristine, sandy beach set against crystal-clear water, framed with the sun’s rays piercing through the fronds of swaying palm trees.  Perhaps a boat on the horizon can be added to the imagination. This is an ideal setting for that perfect beach vacation! However, this is hardly the reality.  Beaches and coastal areas, once trash-free and unspoilt, have given way to carelessly discarded pieces of rubbish with tides of marine plastic debris washing up onto...

World Biodiversity Day 2023 - Attish Kanhai - IMA

From agreement to action, build back Biodiversity

By: Mr. Attish Kanhai, Benthic Ecologist, Institute of Marine Affairs. “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”, French filmmaker Jean Luc-Godard was quoted as saying. Well, actually he was quoting someone else while making this quote, another filmmaker D.W. Griffith.  The implication here is that action and romance keep us glued to our screens, the gun of course representing action and the girl romance Give the girl and the gun then we’re in for a doubly good time I suppose. But I digress. Action movies take it one step further by introducing big explosions, things burning and who doesn’t...

Rip Current Tips

Danger at the Beach: Five Facts to Know about Rip Currents!

The Institute of Marine Affairs is urging the public to exercise caution at the beach, especially over the long Easter weekend. During the month of April, beaches in Trinidad and Tobago experience heightened wave energy associated with the Northern Hemisphere winter, which increases the likelihood of strong nearshore currents that pose a threat to beachgoers.  The month of April is also a preferred time for families with children and friends to visit the beach as children get a vacation break from school. Rip currents are powerful flows of water moving seawards that can easily drag unsuspecting bathers out to sea, these dangerous currents are often...