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IMA > News (Page 3)

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)...

State of the Marine Environment Trinidad and Tobago 2016

The report provides a scientifically grounded understanding of the condition of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal and marine ecosystems, habitats and species which are extremely important for this country’s development and sustainability. It also details how the status of these resources have been, and are being affected by the range of natural and human pressures to which they are subjected such as land-based pollution and impacts from climate change.  The degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems (coral reefs, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, beaches), mainly from anthropogenic impacts such as pollution has made them more vulnerable to impacts from climate change, and other emerging issues like impacts from invasive alien species (IAS) and Sargassum blooms. Within the...

Twenty Thousand Microplastics in the Sea

Prepared by Attish Kanhai, Research Officer Institute of Marine Affairs First published in 1870, Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea tells the story of something strange happening in the ocean. A sea beast that no one had ever seen before was attacking ships in the ocean. None of the sea folk at the time had any idea what this strange beast might be. An expedition ship, the Abraham Lincoln, sets sail in search of this unknown creature. After some time the Lincoln is attacked by the fearsome sea beast only for the crew to discover that this is no sea beast at all but something manmade yet equally fearsome, a submarine....

The Untold Story of Saharan Dust

by Attish Kanhai, Research OfficerInstitute of Marine Affairs As the tiny boat streaked across the Gulf of Paria during the early hours of a Monday morning, the sky seemed to melt into the ocean. The horizon disappeared as sea and sky faded into one never-ending blue curtain. Not surprising I thought, as I dreaded the day ahead. The weather forecast had predicted extreme plumes of Saharan dust over the next few days and warned allergy sufferers to take the appropriate measures. As I entered into the mangrove forest the waterworks started, runny nose, itchy eyes and sore throat. With a sigh I accepted my...

World Wetlands and Climate Change

Once considered spaces and areas where refuse should be dumped, wetlands are now recognised integral components of marine and terrestrial environments and are also valued as sources of economic contribution to the sustainable development of many economies. The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) joins the Government of Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the Global Community in observing World Wetlands Day 2019.  The theme this year, World Wetlands and Climate Change, makes a ‘clarion’ call for all of us to recognise and act on carrying out activities that would conserve our wetlands. The Library is pleased to share the following link, which provides access to download/view/read a power-point presentation on World Wetlands Day...