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IMA > News (Page 4)

Tackling the Plastic Waste Crisis: The Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership

By Wendy Nelson, IMA Researcher Plastic waste pollution continues to be a significant environmental challenge for the world today. Each year, 320 million tonnes of plastic are produced, and more than 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean, largely due to land-based sources or activities. In fact, it is estimated that 80- 90% of the plastic in our seas originates from these sources or activities. In 2018, the Ocean Conservancy, the organization that coordinates the annual International Coastal Cleanup, reported that over 97 million items were collected from over 35,000 km of coastline, and the top 10 ten items collected (over 21...

Fan coral and a school of goat fish

Our Solutions Lie in Nature

Attish Kanhai, Research Officer Institute of Marine Affairs In 1970, Theodor Geisel was fighting to save some Eucalyptus trees around his house from being cleared in order to make way for a suburban development. His idea was to write a children’s book about conservation that was not boring but entertaining. However, writer’s block got the better of him and upon his wife’s suggestion he travelled to Mount Kenya Safari Club where he was able to watch the animals along Kenya’s Laikipia plateau. Theodor Geisel was a children’s author of some repute, he could ill afford to have his work be substandard, and such an important message of...

Parrotfish – Eating and “pooping” their way to healthy reefs!

Mainly found near and around coral reefs, parrotfish are reef fish which are significant to our coral reefs as they graze and eat algae found on corals.  They are the reef’s gracious and indispensable gardeners, removing the algae that compete with corals.   This prevents the corals from being overgrown and becoming smothered.  Additionally, they feed mainly on algae extracted from pieces of coral bitten off from the reef using their teeth which have been fused into powerful beaks, much like a parrots’ beak – hence their name. As much as 90% of their day may be spent nibbling away at the reef. The rock and...

Bon Accord Wetland

Wetland Biodiversity: Why It matters?

Prepared by Dr. Rahanna Juman, Director (Ag.) Institute of Marine Affairs As the world commemorates World Wetlands Day on February 2nd with the theme ‘Wetland Biodiversity: Why its Matters’,  a December 2019 publication by Diaz et al in Science revealed that most indicators of the state of nature, whether monitored by natural and social scientists or by indigenous peoples and local communities, are declining. Consequently, nature’s capacity to provide crucial benefits has also declined, including environmental processes underpinning human health and non-material contributions to the quality of human life. These trends in nature and its contributions to people are projected to worsen in the coming decades, unless rapid and integrated action is taken to...

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...