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IMA > Posts tagged "Coral Reefs"
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...

World Biodiversity Day 2023 - Attish Kanhai - IMA

From agreement to action, build back Biodiversity

By: Mr. Attish Kanhai, Benthic Ecologist, Institute of Marine Affairs. “All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun”, French filmmaker Jean Luc-Godard was quoted as saying. Well, actually he was quoting someone else while making this quote, another filmmaker D.W. Griffith.  The implication here is that action and romance keep us glued to our screens, the gun of course representing action and the girl romance Give the girl and the gun then we’re in for a doubly good time I suppose. But I digress. Action movies take it one step further by introducing big explosions, things burning and who doesn’t...

Coral Reefs, X-MEN of the SEA

The Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) recently partnered with bp Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT) and other government, private sector and community-based organizations to build its capacity in marine ecosystem rehabilitation, particularly coral reefs and seagrass beds, in a rapidly changing climate. This partnership is a significant step towards promoting wildlife conservation, especially in the Caribbean region, which has suffered greatly from the impacts of climate change and human activities. With coral reefs facing unprecedented levels of degradation, the partnership intends to deliver long-term biodiversity conservation and restoration of these ecosystems including avoided loss using a multi-pronged approach: (1) Ocean stewardship; (2) Restoration of Tobago’s...

Bleaching-mountainous-star-coral_Hannah-Lochan_IMA

Protecting Tobago from Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease

Prepared by: Hannah Lochan, Marine Technician Cruise ship season is here again after a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we welcome visitors to experience our beautiful twin islands, there is one passenger we hope is not on board any cruise ship - the lethal pathogen that causes Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD)! This pathogen can be transported via ballast water in ships and is extremely virulent causing its own underwater coral epidemic having already decimated coral reefs in the region. Potential spread of SCTLD When a ship is preparing for a voyage, it often takes in saltwater into large holding tanks in its...

Seagrasses

Blue Carbon is no reason to feel blue

Have you ever described yourself or someone else as “feeling blue”? In that case you are using a phrase coined from a custom among many old deepwater sailing ships. If the ship lost the captain or any of the officers during its voyage, she would fly blue flags and have a blue band painted along her entire hull when returning to homeport. I would like to think that this is true because it perfectly fits my narrative but given that the internet source was quite dubious it probably isn’t.  Another source indicated that the use of the colour blue to mean sadness goes all the...

Oasis and Coral Reefs

What does an oasis and a coral reef have in common?

No, this is not the start of a bad joke or a riddle (although the obvious answer is probably water) but have you ever wondered how oases occur in the desert? How can these areas flush with trees and shrubs, teeming with life occur in the barren arid desert environments? If you haven’t, then take a moment to ponder, try it. It is probably not what you think. While there are many different factors that give rise to the creation of desert oases, one of them might be very surprising. It begins with organisms not visible to the naked eye.   Microbes in Israel’s Negev desert...

The Marine Resilience Initiative, Tobago (Pilot Project)

Tobago waters are rich in marine biodiversity, home to unique and interconnected ecosystems, such as the Buccoo coral reef - Bon Accord Lagoon Complex made up of seagrass and mangroves. Most of Tobago’s Caribbean coast is fringed by coral reefs extending to the northeast Tobago, UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. For over ten years, the Institute of Marine Affairs has been monitoring the health of coral reefs and seagrasses around Tobago. Unfortunately, we have observed several disturbance events have affected Tobago’s marine ecosystems resulting in significant mortality / dieback of critical coral reefs and seagrass beds. Coral reef monitoring conducted by IMA has...

A view from the hill: The impacts of sedimentation on the coastal environment

If you have the opportunity to go to San Fernando Hill or the Lady Young Road in Port of Spain, you can have an unobstructed panoramic view of the Gulf of Paria and its environs. Viewing the coast from these vantage points gives you another perspective of human impacts on the coastal environment. Our impact is very evident after heavy rainfall when you look out only to see a large brown plume of sediment moving across the blue waters. Sediment is washed down from hillsides and plains into drains and rivers, eventually reaching the sea. The magnitude of these plumes is unknown for the...