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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,...

Biodiversity matters, Even worms!

By Attish Kanhai, Research OfficerInstitute of Marine Affairs C. elegans is a transparent nematode worm 1 millimetre long with no eyes that eats bacteria. It is an organism the vast majority of human beings will probably never interact with but in the unlikely event that you do, its unremarkable appearance will probably not make an impression in your mind. Beauty as they say, is in the eyes of the beholder, and discovery is in the mind of the adventurer. C elegans, in the world of genetic biology, is an A-list celebrity.  It is Rihanna and Beyonce combined. The impact of these creatures is undeniable. Despite their...

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)....

Training Farmers in Caroni One step towards Ecosystem-Based Management in Trinidad and Tobago

Prepared byDr. Darryl Banjoo, Deputy Director (Ag.) and ChemistInstitute of Marine Affairs Training and sensitisation go a long way in changing one’s mindset. Sometimes we do things without knowing the impacts on the environment and on ourselves.  Thirty years ago, farmers would often use agro-chemicals with no special clothing or masks. These chemicals were measured out and mixed by hand in buckets and those same vessels would subsequently be used for drinking water. Spraying of pesticides or weedicides with leaking spray cans that can also come into contact with the skin was common; farmers would simply wipe the chemicals off their skin and drink milk...

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...

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...