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The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development- Part II

This is the second of a seven-part series on the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This decade, 2021- 2030, has been declared, ‘the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development’ by the United Nations. The Decade seeks to deliver ‘the science we need’ in order to transform ‘the ocean we have’ to ‘the ocean we want’. Part I of this series provided the rationale for the Decade, and the significance of this initiative for Trinidad and Tobago....

Research-Scientist-IMA 16:9

Marine Science Contributions to a Sustainable Future from our Female Scientists at the IMA

In an interview with the IMA, Ms. Alison Clausen of the Paris Office of the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), noted that the UN is creating a framework to galvanise global support for championing the health of our oceans. Ms. Clausen states that science has for decades documented the demise of our oceans but now the global scientific community must use science to provide solutions – and that scientific community includes women....

Salybia Beach

UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021–2030
Opportunities for Trinidad and Tobago

By Dr. Anjani Ganase, Coral Reef Ecologist Institute of Marine Affairs Our ocean is the foundation for life, the regulator of our climate and a major source of food, income and cultural significance. Yet, the first world assessment report (2016) of our oceans concluded that much of the world’s marine ecosystems have become degraded over the last fifty years owing to our poor management of the ocean ecosystems. In light of this, UNESCO has declared a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in 2021 – 2030 recognising the urgent need to curb and even reverse the considerable degradation that the ocean ecosystems have suffered as...

Are you cleaning your toilet bowl correctly?

Prepared by Sheldon Ramoutar, Research Officer (Microbiologist),Institute of Marine Affairs The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and there is no doubt household chores and cleaning will be taking place.  Cleaning can be daunting especially when it comes to the toilet area and bathroom. Though we have been cleaning these surfaces year in and out, have we been cleaning our toilet bowl correctly? Here are a few helpful tips on cleaning your toilet. The Septic Tank The septic tank system is the forgotten household hero. It works hard every day breaking down waste from the toilet using hard-working bacteria. Even though we clean our toilet bowls to get rid...

Electronic Waste – An emerging Threat to our Marine Environment

By Guischard Charles, Information Officer – Digital Content Specialist In the aftermath of the World Health Organisation (WHO) declaring the dreadful COVID-19 virus a pandemic on the 11, March 2020, information communication technologies and the use of electronic devices and gadgets have skyrocketed in Trinidad and Tobago.  Physical distancing has become the ‘new normal’.   For many of us, online connection and remote work have replaced face-to-face interaction. In an attempt to minimise contagion and the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector upgraded online services and rolled out mobile apps to stay connected with their customers and clients, while several government ministries and agencies,...

Why should we be concerned about Nutrient Pollution?

by Yasim Edoo, Associate ProfessionalInstitute of Marine Affairs Many countries around the world are susceptible to different types of pollution. The countries of the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) are no exception. In recent times, the issue of nutrient pollution has come to the attention of many islands in the WCR and the question of “How can this form of pollution be mitigated?” arises but what is nutrient pollution?  Very simply put, nutrient pollution is the process whereby excess nitrogen and phosphorous compounds (nutrients) enter into water bodies and cause an excessive growth of algae leading to poor condition such as oxygen depletion (National Ocean Service)....

CAN YOU LIVE PLASTICS FREE?

By Aleisha Dennie, Research Staff Institute of Marine Affairs It is said that human beings have a complex relationship with our natural environment. We have become masters of exploiting our resources to the benefit of our social and economic well being. Food, fiber, biomass fuel, medicine, freshwater all derived from the earth’s bounty. It is a troubling notion though, that this supply is being threatened with every passing generation. Plastic is one of the major pollutants found in our environment to date. Improper disposal of plastic waste has led to the destruction of the aesthetic beauty of tourist destinations, the entanglement and suffocation of marine organisms...

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...

It’s Vacation Time! Visit our Beaches for these Benefits – But be Aware of Potential Risks

“This is the Second of a Four-Part Series of articles based on the recently launched State of the Marine Environment Report 2016 published by the Institute of Marine Affairs.  This second article briefly looks at the health benefits that can be derived from going to the beach.” It’s vacation time and for many families, beach visits are a staple. In Trinidad and Tobago, beaches are loved and often regarded as places of healing and joy. At the seaside, as the salt cleanses us and the sun embraces us with its warmth, there is healing of the heart, mind and soul. Wallace J. Nichols, a Marine...

Leaving Just Our Footprints in the Sand: Tackling Coastal Debris and Plastic Polluted Oceans

Trinidad and Tobago is blessed with a diversity of landforms such as rolling hills, expansive flood plains, mountains and rocky cliffs. However, one of the most popular physical features that we regularly enjoy is our sandy beaches. Beaches are formed from a build-up of loose sediments, usually sand or silt along a body of water. Sediments can settle from crashing waves, gusts of wind and streams of water. Sandy beaches are great tourist attractions, offering spaces for business, social events and personal leisure. They are important areas of recreation. However, during recreational usage, people may leave behind more than their footprints, sometimes unintentionally. At...