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IMA > Updates F&ARP
IMA conducting coral reef surveys

BUILDING OCEAN RESILIENCE

A healthy and resilient ocean is one that is readily able to return to a healthy state following disturbance events or even resist the impacts of the disturbance depending on its severity. For example, healthy mangrove forests can effectively reduce the damages of severe storm surge because the thick interconnected root systems stabilise the shore and reduce wave and wind forces. The same root systems create a well-protected refuge for nurseries. Real estate, homes and properties inland are protected by mangrove forests. When healthy forests are damaged, their density might still sustain the habitat and its hydrodynamics as well as provide for regrowth. Similarly,...

Welcoming the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021 – 2030 – #GenerationRestoration

Celebrated annually on June 5th, WED is the United Nations’ flagship day for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. In keeping with this year’s theme of Ecosystem Restoration, today is also the official launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. Yes, you read correctly, a whole decade focusing on ecosystem restoration. Why, what does this mean, especially for the oceans, and how can we get involved?...

Fishing for Cutlassfish

Persons driving into Chaguaramas in December 2020 and January 2021 were greeted with the sight of numerous fishing vessels operating close to shore in the vicinity of Alcoa and in William’s Bay. Enquiries by any curious onlooker would have revealed that they were fishing for “cutlassfish” in the late evenings, nights and early mornings. I myself was intrigued by this activity having never seen so many vessels operating in that area. On one occasion, I counted as many as 80 pirogues. Since then, I have fielded numerous questions from both colleagues and the public about the particulars of this fishery and the role of...

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...

Mariculture in the Blue Economy: An ocean’s worth of potential for Trinidad and Tobago

Our oceans play a role bigger than most can imagine, from producing over 50% of the air we breathe, to regulating the earth’s climate. It is safe to say that life, as we know it on earth, would not be possible without our oceans. Human civilization has long relied on oceans for transport, trade, extractive resources and as a source of food. However, this reliance has led to environmental degradation and over exploitation of its resources....

The IMA’s Lionfish SeaiTT Mobile App: Marine Conservation in the Palm of Your Hand

by Krystal Ganaselal – Information Officer/Public Relations Citizens with an avid interest in environmental matters will be able to ‘sea’ their environmental reports using mobile technology. The first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago, the Institute of Marine Affairs’ new Integrated Environmental Incident Software Platform and mobile application, called the Lionfish SeaiTT, allows users to report environmental incidents with the touch of a button. The development of this mobile application was part of a 2014 Green Fund project entitled ‘Control and Management of the Invasive Lionfish in Trinidad and Tobago’ which aimed to raise awareness on the arrival of the marine invasive species, the lionfish,...

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...

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...