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Yellowfin Tuna

What is Overfishing?

Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through reproduction. There are different types of overfishing, such as growth overfishing, where young fish are caught before they reach their optimum marketable size or are allowed to reproduce before they are caught. Recruitment overfishing occurs when the reproduction rate of fish stocks is too low to replace loss from fish naturally dying or from being caught. This results from disproportionately large reproductive fish, mainly females being targeted. There is also economic overfishing when the revenue generated from increases in fishing efforts is less than the cost of this effort. Adverse impacts of...

Donkey Eye

Donkey Eye

Scientific name: Mucuna sloanei The brown seed known as ‘Donkey eye’ begins life in inland forests borne on a climbing vine with bright yellow flowers, which overgrows other vegetation. The plant produces seed pods about 18 cm (7 in.) long. If the overgrown tree is along a stream bank, the floating seeds may find their way into rivers and get deposited along the coast by the waves and currents.15 Finding Donkey Eye seeds on the beaches of the east and south coast of Trinidad is a regular occurrence and generations of children have used them to prank others as the seeds emit heat when rubbed...

Rip Current Tips

Danger at the Beach: Five Facts to Know about Rip Currents!

The Institute of Marine Affairs is urging the public to exercise caution at the beach, especially over the long Easter weekend. During the month of April, beaches in Trinidad and Tobago experience heightened wave energy associated with the Northern Hemisphere winter, which increases the likelihood of strong nearshore currents that pose a threat to beachgoers.  The month of April is also a preferred time for families with children and friends to visit the beach as children get a vacation break from school. Rip currents are powerful flows of water moving seawards that can easily drag unsuspecting bathers out to sea, these dangerous currents are often...

Beach Material IMA

Beach Material

Beach material may come from the erosion of rocks near the beach, or be brought to the beach by rivers. Some beach sediments consist of calcium carbonate formed from the remains of corals, shells and algae. Carbonate sands are white and may be found close to coral reef sites or seagrass meadows. Such beaches are common in Tobago. In Trinidad, the most common mineral in beach sediment is quartz. The dark colour of these sediments is due to the presence of certain iron-based minerals and rock fragments. Grain size (Figure 2) of beach sediment is noted throughout the guide because in addition to having implications for...

View of the room during opening plenary (Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis)

The BBNJ Agreement – a win for the Ocean and Multilateralism

By Dr. Kahlil Hassanali, Senior Research Officer, Institute of Marine Affairs “The ship has reached the shore.” This was how Her Excellency Rena Lee, Ambassador of Singapore and President of the Intergovernmental Conference relating to an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (The BBNJ Agreement), announced that delegations had finally agreed on a treaty text. After nearly twenty years of talks on the matter, five years in an Intergovernmental Conference setting, two weeks into the resumed fifth session of that Conference, and thirty-eight hours over the scheduled deadline during which time delegates bunkered...

seagrasses have been disappearing at a rate

Recognising the Importance of Our Seagrass Meadows

March 1, 2023 marks the first-ever United Nations recognised World Seagrass Day.  The day is being commemorated to raise public awareness on the importance of seagrass meadows and to recognise the importance of seagrasses to the health and well-being of the planet, as well as to the people, communities, flora and fauna that rely on them. Seagrasses are marine flowering plants that grow in the intertidal and subtidal zones along shallow tropical and temperate coasts. They are very productive, faunally rich and ecologically important marine resources that provide nursery habitats for several commercially important species such as conch, fish and lobster and a major food source...