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IMA > Updates F&ARP

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...

Royalty of the Sea- The Queen Conch

The queen conch is a large, herbivorous marine gastropod or snail, which can be found throughout the waters of the wider Caribbean region and Florida. This particular species of conch is differentiated by its large, whorl-shaped shell, spiny shell apex and bright pink interior at the shell’s lip. Deemed by far the region's most important snail, the queen conch has served as a main food source for the inhabitants of Caribbean coasts and islands since the settlement of the first Amerindians. In recent times, it remains an important protein source in the region, with growing exports to the United States. Apart from acting as...

The State of the Marine Fisheries Resources of Trinidad and Tobago

“This is the first of a series of articles based on the recently launched State of the Marine Environment Report 2016 published by the Institute of Marine Affairs.  It is hoped that this series will raise awareness on the state of our marine environment, and underscore the urgent need for us to act diligently to conserve our coasts and oceans. This first article focuses on the current state of our fisheries resources.” Trinidad and Tobago is blessed with very rich and diverse marine fisheries resources, which are important both economically and socially for many of our coastal and rural communities. Resources that are exploited include...

Bait Dump vs Fishkill in Chaguaramas

The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) recently conducted an investigation into a reported fishkill at the Power Boats Marina in Chaguaramas on the 10th and 19th of May, 2017. Based on interviews, observations, and our knowledge of fishing practices in Trinidad and Tobago, it was concluded that this was a bait dump and NOT a fishkill. Whilst one of our main reasons was that there was an eyewitness that saw the fish being dumped, the physical and biological observations recorded were also clearly characteristic of a dump. Some of these characteristics and observations were: (1)The majority (99%) of dead fish were baitfish (sardines and herrings) Baitfish...