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IMA > News

Coral Bleaching Outlook for Trinidad and Tobago

August 22nd 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch have released the latest coral bleaching outlook for the next four months (August to November) for the Caribbean region. (https://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/vs/gauges/trinidad_tobago.php). According to this, Trinidad and Tobago’s, coral bleaching stress gauge is currently at “Watch Level.” This means that the waters around Tobago are above average sea surface temperature (SST) for this time of year. NOAA predicts that over the next 5 - 8 weeks, Tobago and the rest of the Lesser Antilles have a 60 % chance of reaching “Bleaching Alert Level One,” (high likelihood of coral bleaching), while the outlook for next 9 – 12 weeks indicates a 60 % chance of...

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...

Happy Indian Arrival Day!

The Board and Management salutes our citizens and our nation, as we reflect on the celebrations and observances of Indian Arrival Day 2019. The courage and commitment of our forefathers who undertook the long and arduous 107 day journey from Calcutta, India across the Vishal Mahasagar to our shores is a testimony to the strength of purpose of the first 227 and the legacy and diversity of character they have left us in the nation that is Trinidad and Tobago. Let us use the occasion to not only reflect on their resilience in achieving a better life  for themselves far away from the land of...

Nature is declining globally at unprecedented rates: urgent need for transformative changes

Prepared by Rahanna Juman, Institute of Marine Affairs Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history -- and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely. This is the warning coming out of a landmark new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the summary of which was approved at the 7th session of the IPBES Plenary in Paris in May 2019. Compiled over three years by 145 expert authors from 50 countries, and with inputs from another 310 contributing authors, IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is the most comprehensive ever completed and the first...

“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...