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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...

Oil Spill Tobago - Dr Anjani Ganase

IMA Assesses Tobago’s Spill-Affected Areas 

Scarborough The Institute of Marine Affairs on 10th February, 2024, dispatched a team to conduct initial ecological assessments of mangroves, beaches and other areas affected by the oil spill of 7th February, caused when the crew-less vessel, Gulf Stream, capsized nearshore Cove Bay on the Atlantic side of Tobago. The team analysed data from satellite imagery product providers such as The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to track movement of the oil-like substance over distance and time, as well as mined years of rich historical data amassed by IMA for monitoring Tobago's marine and coastal environments. From this, preliminary priority sites were determined...

Icacos Swamp villagers remove tilapia 2024

Life interlaced with wetlands and people

Wetlands and people have been intricately connected throughout human history.  Human well-being is irrevocably tied to the state of the world’s wetlands. For thousands of years, people have established settlements near wetlands for access to fish, shipping and trade, establishing tourism, freshwater for crops and livestock and other food sources. Wetlands are considered the Earth’s kidneys as their silt-rich soil and plants naturally filter and store freshwater, on which human existence relies.  Wetlands helped support the development of civilised communities in the inundated and fertile floodplain environments of the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates Rivers, and played a major role in supporting large populations of people...

Macroalgae within a Coral Reef Tobago

Harmful Algal Blooms: Why the need for concern?

Prepared by Aleisha Dennie, Laboratory Technician, Institute of Marine Affairs Have you ever heard of a ‘red tide’ that is followed by a fish kill? This phenomenon is caused by algal blooms which occur along coastal regions, making these tides a lot more noticeable.  Harmful algal blooms or HABs as they are commonly referred to, occur when photosynthetic microscopic algae, or phytoplankton grow uncontrollably within an aquatic ecosystem. These organisms pose many threats to marine habitats where they are found, but consequentially have the potential to harm humans as well. In fact, some are even capable of producing toxins that can bio-accumulate as they move...

Increasing Ambition for Climate Change: Integrating Ocean-Climate Action

Prepared by: Ruqayyah Thompson (Research Officer), Institute of Marine Affairs This month, while countries are preparing to conclude the first-ever global stocktake at the twenty-eight session of the Conference of Parties (COP 28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the outlook appears daunting with the window for achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement quickly closing. The main goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5°C. While records do not imply that the world has exceeded the 1.5°C...

Colourful Connections: Unravelling the Threads of Significance in Nature’s Diverse Palette

Crayons are some of the first writing instruments we are given as children as we learn about the world around us. I’m sure everyone can remember their first pack as they sat in their desks at primary school. Every basic set would have red, green, blue, orange, yellow purple, with some fancy shades thrown in between depending on the extent of your crayon collection. Colours were some of the earliest ways in which we learned about the world around us, drawing first a factually incorrect yellow sun, inaccurate birds, green stick trees, and scribbles that served as ocean waves. Nature regales us with its...

MOU NGC

NGC JOINS IMA IN THE BID TO SAVE CARLI BAY MANGROVE

The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) is joining the effort to stem the decline in mangrove health in Trinidad and Tobago. This week, the company signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), to implement a Mangrove Rehabilitation Project in the Carli Bay/Point Lisas area. This collaboration will promote the restoration and protection of the mangroves in a region that plays a critical role in the country’s environmental and economic landscape. Once characterised by a continuous wetland, the Couva/Carli Bay area has seen its wetland ecosystem fragment into the Couva River/Lisas Bay mangrove forest, the...

IMA & CARIRI Collaborate to Promote Caribbean Growth and Development

Port of Spain The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) pool their institutional talent, resources, and technical expertise to support and promote economic growth and development in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.  Both entities solidified this commitment via the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at CARIRI’s head office located at the St. Augustine campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) on November 16th., 2023.  Dr Ava Maxam, Director IMA, and Mr. Hans-Erich Schulz, Chief Executive Officer CARIRI signing Memorandum of Understanding With Research and Development (R&D) at the core of the entities’ mandate, the IMA,...

BULLETIN: Suspected Harmful­ Algal Bloom around Tobago

Over the last few days, the Institute of Affairs (IMA) has received reports of fish kills at four sites along Tobago’s Atlantic coast – Delaford Bay, Roxborough, Lambeau Beach and on Flying Reef along Tobago’s south coast. Dead marine life was observed along beaches and in the water, mainly consisting of reef fish species such as parrotfish, snapper, butterflyfish, trumpetfish and other species including eels and octopuses. Simultaneously, reports of a possible “red tide” were reported in the same areas over the weekend. Divers observed large pockets of warm, reddish water extending to 50 feet along the Atlantic coast. This may be indicative of...