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Beyond the Blue – Season 4 Episode 10

This week on #BeyondtheBlue we continue our discussion with fisherwoman and former chair of the Women in Fishing Association, Bernadette Fonrose of Guayaguayare who expressed the difficulties face in fishing, climate change, the sargassum seaweed, and government. Tune in here for the discussion. To learn more about Beyond the Blue, visit our page, Beyond the Blue ‘Beyond the Blue’ is a radio broadcast of the Institute of Marine Affairs.Sponsored by the Republic Bank Limited ...


Blue Carbon is no reason to feel blue

Have you ever described yourself or someone else as “feeling blue”? In that case you are using a phrase coined from a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships. If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to homeport. I would like to think that this is true because it perfectly fits my narrative but given that the internet source was quite dubious it probably isn’t.  Another source indicated that the use of the colour blue to mean sadness goes all the...

Oasis and Coral Reefs

What does an oasis and a coral reef have in common?

No, this is not the start of a bad joke or a riddle (although the obvious answer is probably water) but have you ever wondered how oases occur in the desert? How can these areas flush with trees and shrubs, teeming with life occur in the barren arid desert environments? If you haven’t, then take a moment to ponder, try it. It is probably not what you think. While there are many different factors that give rise to the creation of desert oases, one of them might be very surprising. It begins with organisms not visible to the naked eye.   Microbes in Israel’s Negev desert...

Coastal Erosion

Coastal Issues

ALGAL BLOOMS Algal blooms are observed when microscopic plants or phytoplankton, which are normally found in seawater, rapidly reproduce when environmental conditions are favourable. The blooms have been described as unusual green, pink or red patches of water. The discolouration is due to pigments in the cells of the alga. Algal blooms can cause death to marine life by depleting oxygen levels during decomposition, producing toxins that can poison animals or by clogging of gills. Not all blooms are harmful though and many disappear within a few hours with no fatal effect to marine life. Algal blooms have been reported on all coasts of Trinidad and...

Beach Safety

Safety at Beaches

Safety at Beaches The safer months for sea bathing in Trinidad and Tobago are generally from May to October. During this period, except for the occasional storm, the water tends to be calmer. From November to April the sea tends to be rougher. Bathers should take extra care when swimming during these months. On beaches where there are lifeguards, bathers should note the red warning flags denoting danger areas. Red/yellow flags indicate areas where it is safe to bathe. Ask the lifeguard on duty if you are not sure. NEVER bathe alone. Local residents usually know of the occurrence of rip currents and other hazards – ask...

Coastal Dynamics

Coastal Dynamics

What is a beach? A beach is a length of coastline where there is an accumulation of sediment, usually sand, but sometimes gravel or small boulders, alone or in any combination. Beaches can be sections of bays. For example, Chagville ‘Beach’ and Williams ‘Bay’ are sections of the larger Carenage Bay. For the purpose of this guide, unless otherwise stated, the terms ‘beach’ and ‘bay’ are used interchangeably. Beach Morphology There are two parts to every beach: the foreshore, which may slope gently or steeply down to the water and which is in direct contact with the sea as the tides ebb and flow, and the backshore...