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Bleaching Coral

Coral Bleaching Alert for Tobago

In September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coral Reef Watch has placed Trinidad and Tobago under Bleaching Alert Level 2, where severe, widespread bleaching and significant coral mortality are very likely. Reports of moderate coral bleaching have been received from several sites around Tobago including Store Bay, South Coast, Mt Irvine, and Englishman’s Bay by marine users. Bleached boulder brain coral at Castara in August Bleached grooved brain coral at Mt Irvine in September As part of Tobago’s Bleaching Response Plan, the Institute of Marine Affairs has alerted all stakeholders that work in the marine environment, and have made an appeal for any observations of...

Grande Riviere Beach Shifting – A dynamic coastline that requires coastal zone planning

By: Christopher Alexis and Isabelle Chen Grande Riviere Beach is located on the scenic north coast of Trinidad and gets its name from the large river that empties into the Caribbean Sea at the eastern end of the beach. It spans approximately 1.2 km in length and is curved with varying beach widths (Figure 1). This Beach provides an important habitat for marine and coastal wildlife.  It is one of the most important nesting sites for the leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), which has been declared vulnerable on a global scale by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and World Wildlife Fund...

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...