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IMA > Updates B&ERP

Rethinking the Oceans: Transitioning to the Blue Economy

Farahnaz N. Solomon (PhD)Research Officer , Institute of Marine Affairs “There are more opportunities in the ocean than we can fathom”. Oceans cover 72% of the Earth’s surface. They support life by generating oxygen, absorbing carbon dioxide, recycling nutrients and regulating global climate and temperature. Oceans are important for fisheries, transport, and tourism – all traditional sectors of the Blue Economy. Highlighted at the 2012 Rio +20 Conference, the Blue Economy can be defined as 'the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of the marine and coastal environment'(1). Using the sea for economic gain is not a...

Living with Nature

Prepared byDr Anjani Ganase, Coral Reef Ecologist,Institute of Marine Affairs Around Trinidad and Tobago, there are Caribbean and Atlantic coasts. Our islands’ location along the edge of the South American shelf also provides exceptionally rich and diverse flora and fauna. Within the boundaries of our relatively small islands, the landscapes support wetlands, rainforests, savannahs, rivers and over 500 km of coasts. Our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends over an area which is 15 times the combined land mass (approximately 5000 km2 of land). The ocean biome extends from sandy and rocky shores to coral reefs, offshore islands, sandy seafloor, the open ocean and mysterious unknown deep-sea...

The Water Quality at Maracas, Las Cuevas and Chaguaramas during the ‘Stay at Home’ COVID-19 Pandemic

Prepared by Sheldon Ramoutar, MicrobiologistInstitute of Marine Affairs The COVID-19 pandemic is currently changing the way we live our daily lives. No public gathering, and social distancing has been in effect since late March 2020 and has left our environment untouched. Around the world, reports have shown cleaner air quality in large cities and countries like the United Kingdom China and Spain due to the drop in carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions. There are also reports of better water quality in places like Venice and the Ganges as the watercourses are now more transparent with visible aquatic life. In Trinidad and Tobago, numerous beaches are continuously...

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...

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...

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...

What do Christmas Trees have to do with Coral Reefs?

No doubt for this festive season a lot of us would have spent time putting up Christmas trees. One of the long-standing traditions of the Christmas season is decorating our Christmas trees often times with the help of our families. During this period trees are ubiquitous from shopping malls, business places to homes. The marine environment has its own Christmas trees that adorn the seafloor all year round, creating quite a display for those who dare to seek them out. Although these Christmas trees stand no more than 4 cm high, this in no way diminishes their brilliance and beauty. The organisms to which I...

Deployment of the Water Quality Monitoring Buoy in Claxton Bay, Gulf of Paria

The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), in conjunction with Microsoft Caribbean, Fujitsu, GlobeRangers and Digicel, deployed a Water Quality Monitoring Buoy in the Gulf of Paria (GoP) off Claxton Bay on October 25th 2017.  A press conference was held at the Claxton Bay Fishing Facility to observe this event.  The feature address was delivered by the Honourable Camille Robinson-Regis, Minister of Planning and Development, who stated that for far too long we have talked about our problems, but today we are here to discuss a solution to address pollution.  She commended the IMA for its initiative to work with private sector companies such as...