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Parrotfish – Eating and “pooping” their way to healthy reefs!

Mainly found near and around coral reefs, parrotfish are reef fish which are significant to our coral reefs as they graze and eat algae found on corals.  They are the reef’s gracious and indispensable gardeners, removing the algae that compete with corals.   This prevents the corals from being overgrown and becoming smothered.  Additionally, they feed mainly on algae extracted from pieces of coral bitten off from the reef using their teeth which have been fused into powerful beaks, much like a parrots’ beak – hence their name. As much as 90% of their day may be spent nibbling away at the reef. The rock and...

Bon Accord Wetland

Wetland Biodiversity: Why It matters?

Prepared by Dr. Rahanna Juman, Director (Ag.) Institute of Marine Affairs As the world commemorates World Wetlands Day on February 2nd with the theme ‘Wetland Biodiversity: Why its Matters’,  a December 2019 publication by Diaz et al in Science revealed that most indicators of the state of nature, whether monitored by natural and social scientists or by indigenous peoples and local communities, are declining. Consequently, nature’s capacity to provide crucial benefits has also declined, including environmental processes underpinning human health and non-material contributions to the quality of human life. These trends in nature and its contributions to people are projected to worsen in the coming decades, unless rapid and integrated action is taken to...

Coral Bleaching Outlook for Trinidad and Tobago

August 22nd 2019 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Watch have released the latest coral bleaching outlook for the next four months (August to November) for the Caribbean region. ( According to this, Trinidad and Tobago’s, coral bleaching stress gauge is currently at “Watch Level.” This means that the waters around Tobago are above average sea surface temperature (SST) for this time of year. NOAA predicts that over the next 5 - 8 weeks, Tobago and the rest of the Lesser Antilles have a 60 % chance of reaching “Bleaching Alert Level One,” (high likelihood of coral bleaching), while the outlook for next 9 – 12 weeks indicates a 60 % chance of...