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Shifts Along Our Sandy Shores

Beaches remain the main attraction of tourists to the Greater Caribbean. For small island nation states, tourism accounts for an average of 25% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is the fastest growing sector of their economies. About 115 million people live around the Caribbean Sea’s coastline, and every year, another 20 million people come to visit. This rapid growth in the tourism sector and its associated activity on beaches together with climate change impacts are leading to greater erosion on Caribbean beaches and shorelines. This is damaging the infrastructure and shorelines of coastal communities, depleting important tourism resources, and negatively impacting the...

acid ocean

Acid Oceans

“Sometimes our strengths lie beneath the surface … Far beneath, in some cases” (The Ocean, 2016). Well not exactly a quote by the ocean itself. I am intentionally being a bit cryptic, because these words make more sense in the context of the movie they were taken from, Moana. Moana is the Maori word for ocean. The Maori being the native peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand. The belief system of the Maori holds nature in very high regard. The kinship between humans and the environment in Maori culture is expressed through kaitiakitanga, a way in which the environment is respected and managed, something that...

The Marine Resilience Initiative, Tobago (Pilot Project)

Tobago waters are rich in marine biodiversity, home to unique and interconnected ecosystems, such as the Buccoo coral reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Complex made up of seagrass and mangroves. Most of Tobago’s Caribbean coast is fringed by coral reefs extending to the northeast Tobago, UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. For over ten years, the Institute of Marine Affairs has been monitoring the health of coral reefs and seagrasses around Tobago. Unfortunately, we have observed several disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring conducted by IMA has...

Artisanal fishing boats at San Fernando

International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022 (IYAFA2022): SMALL IN SCALE, BUT BIG IN VALUE

“Our small actions can have big impacts, like a ripple effect.”  Small-scale fishing and aquaculture can bring food to one family and provides healthy nutrition to millions more.  It brings value to all. Small-scale fishers and farmers also know what it means to preserve the balance in our ecosystems.  But our livelihoods are at risk, now more than ever, we need to be resilient, include us in decisions that affect us, and we will adapt and innovate with the changing tide. We may be small scale, but our way of life will make a difference, and keep on spreading like ripples in the water”.  These...