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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...

Store Bay

Store Bay in Tobago is a very busy and popular beach. It's not far from the airport and many hotels, just a short walk away. There are two hotels on the cliffs nearby. The beach is 210 meters long and gently slopes into the sea. The sand is light-colored, and the water is blue-green and inviting. Waves come in from the northwest, and they're not too big. The water currents flow to the southwest. One special thing about this beach is that the sea floor suddenly drops down about 65 cm in one spot. You can park your car for free near the beach, and there...

Our Valuable Marine Systems 

Coral reefs and seagrass meadows are some of the most diverse marine ecosystems. Coral reefs are home to 25% of life in the ocean. Seagrass meadows play an important role in keeping the oceans healthy and providing habitat for a wide array of marine organisms. A number of disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring (IMA) has shown up to 50 % coral loss from the 2010 bleaching with minimal recovery to date as a result of pollution and overfishing that limit the natural recovery processes. Seagrass beds...

Englishman's Bay, Tobago

MARIN Tobago, the next phase 

The main phase of the MARIN project has commenced following a renewed partnership between bp Trinidad and Tobago and the Institute of Marine Affairs with funding support from bp (UK).  MARIN Tobago intends to deliver long-term biodiversity conservation and restoration of Tobago’s marine ecosystems using a multifaceted approach: (1) building sustainable ocean resilience; (2) restoring of Tobago’s coral reefs and seagrass beds; (3) generating ocean stewardship through outreach and engagement. The project will focus on Tobago’s marine ecosystems within the Buccoo Reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Marine Protected Area (MPA), and the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in Northeast Tobago. Both areas hold...

Marin Tobago team

The restoration journey continues, Project MARIN proceeds for another five years.  

Media release: September 11, 2023  The MARIN Tobago pilot brings needed attention to endangered coral reefs and seagrass meadows. The report on the pilot phase indicates the way forward for the next five years.   The Institute of Marine Affairs’ coral and seagrass restoration project, MARIN, has passed through a successful pilot phase and is now set to enter the main phase with support from bpTT.  Based on the success of the pilot project, bpTT has committed US$1 million in grant funding to support a 5-year work programme with the IMA to further their work in coral reef and seagrass restoration across Tobago, working in partnership with NGOs,...


Why Size Matters – How the Loss of the Ocean’s Megafauna is Affecting Our Ecosystems

Heracles, better known by his Roman name Hercules, is one of the most famous characters of Greek mythology. An illegitimate child of the Greek God Zeus, Heracles was the source of jealousy for Zeus’s legitimate wife Hera, hence his mother's naming him Heracles, which translates to “Hera’s glory”. Hera remained unmoved and in the red mist of anger, tricked Heracles into killing his wife and children, a crime for which his punishment became known as the 12 labours of Heracles.  Heracles’ 12 labours, were in essence, ridding the Greek universe of some of its most fearsome creatures such as lions, hydras, boars and bulls. I...

Dr Ava Maxam - Director, IMA

Welcome aboard, Dr. Ava Maxam, our newly appointed Director!

Dr. Ava Maxam has been appointed as the Director of the Institute of Marine Affairs with effect from September 4th, 2023. She brings extensive technical and management experience to the Institute with a particular focus in the areas of coastal and environmental management, sustainable development and spatial business solutions. A strong advocate for data-driven decision-making, Dr Maxam leverages Geographic information Systems (GIS) to create models, tools, and policies for modern resource management. She specialises in developing GIS-based analytical and decision-support systems that empower governments, civil society, and the private sector, which in turn strengthens their resilience to the impacts of natural and man-made hazards including...

Red Mangrove

Red Mangrove

Scientific name: Rhizophora mangle Photo Courtesy: Mangroves specialize in land reclamation. They are ‘pioneer’ plants in coastal mudflats and create land out of the void. They are virtually unique in their ability to live with their roots submerged in saltwater. Red mangrove is the most dominant species seen by the casual observer, as it grows closest to the coast. Its intricate prop-root system provides support to the tree in mud and slows water circulation to encourage deposition of silt, so that the mangrove gradually extends seaward. You may also like [smart_post_show id="19584"] ...

Fat Pork

Fat Pork

Scientific name: Chrysobalanus icaco Photo Courtesy: A highly salt tolerant evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow up to 2 m along the coast and taller inland. Its alternate leaf blades are rounded, pointed, or slightly notched at the apex, and have a glossy texture. The flowers are small greenish white. The edible fruit is nearly round, pink, whitish, or dark-purple. Its unique flavour, fleshy consistency, and thin skin make it a suitable choice for jams and jellies. The seeds can be roasted and eaten for their almond-like flavour or crushed and added to the jelly. Flowers and fruits are produced throughout the year. You...