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Fascinating Facts: Benthic Organisms

Attish Kanhai, Research Officer (Benthic Ecology)Institute of Marine Affairs For many Trinbagonians, spending time outdoors is commonplace, particularly during public and/or religious holidays, which is almost like a ritual and during the July-August vacation months for school pupils and students. There are so many places to visit, whether it be Maracas or Las Cuevas Beach, Caroni Swamp or Buccoo Reef in Tobago. When you take a breath of fresh air and do decide to explore, do you know what organisms you can find at these locations? Benthic Organisms! Benthic Organisms are creatures that live in or on bottom sediments, such as, the sand at the beach, mud flats at the Caroni Swamp or...

Marine Pollution: The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Recycling

Alicia C. Barrie, On the Job Trainee, Institute of Marine Affairs Over the years, Trinidad and Tobago has produced increasing amounts of Municipal Solid Waste, with high amounts of single-use plastics entering our marine ecosystem. Our high level of mismanaged pollution clutters the landscapes, degrades the overall health and viability of our fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and harms marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest these plastics. As citizens, we have grown accustomed to discarding our garbage wherever we go, whether it be on the beach, in rivers, or on the roadside. Our polluting habits introduce toxins, foul odours and other...

Promoting Marine and Coastal Awareness

Lorraine Barrow, Institute of Marine Affairs Our coasts and ocean are not only places that we go to rest and relax, and heal, but they are lifelines to island states.  These are places for most of our trade and economic activities.  An IDB study revealed that in 2015, 81% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was generated from our wider coastal zone that extends 200 nautical miles to our Exclusive Economic Zone.  Our coastal and marine resources are vital since they support our livelihoods, supply jobs in the energy and tourism sectors and provide us with food.  How many of us are aware of the significant connection between our marine resources and our daily lives. ...

Carnival of the Sea

Lester W. Doodnath, Institute of Marine Affairs The people of Trinidad and Tobago share a very special connection with our coastal and marine environment. Our coastal and marine environments provide us with numerous ecosystem services including spaces for rest and recreation. Our connection is realised in our wide and varied use of the resource for entertainment, built development, commercial/recreational fishing and petroleum exploitation to list but a few. Our seas and coastlines also serve as inspiration for our artistic and cultural expressions. Nowhere is this demonstrated more, than at the annual carnival celebrations. In 2018 alone, there were Seatopia (Theatrical Kidz) and Scarlet Ibis, Do Not Eat Ah Food (Lee Poy-Moko Jumbie Mas)...

State of the Marine Environment Trinidad and Tobago 2016

The report provides a scientifically grounded understanding of the condition of Trinidad and Tobago’s coastal and marine ecosystems, habitats and species which are extremely important for this country’s development and sustainability. It also details how the status of these resources have been, and are being affected by the range of natural and human pressures to which they are subjected such as land-based pollution and impacts from climate change.  The degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems (coral reefs, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, beaches), mainly from anthropogenic impacts such as pollution has made them more vulnerable to impacts from climate change, and other emerging issues like impacts from invasive alien species (IAS) and Sargassum blooms. Within the...

Beyond the Blue – Ep6

Bioluminescence Bioluminescence, a glowing, shimmering incandescent light that certain plants and animals sometimes emit. In the case of marine plants, bioluminescence is observed most typically in a few blooming phytoplankton species under certain environmental conditions. A rare phenomenon that is seen in the Ortoire River. Listen to Mrs. Lori Lee Lum, retired Community Education Officer of the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), explain the phenomenon. ...