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View of the room during opening plenary (Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis)

The BBNJ Agreement – a win for the Ocean and Multilateralism

By Dr. Kahlil Hassanali, Senior Research Officer, Institute of Marine Affairs “The ship has reached the shore.” This was how Her Excellency Rena Lee, Ambassador of Singapore and President of the Intergovernmental Conference relating to an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (The BBNJ Agreement), announced that delegations had finally agreed on a treaty text. After nearly twenty years of talks on the matter, five years in an Intergovernmental Conference setting, two weeks into the resumed fifth session of that Conference, and thirty-eight hours over the scheduled deadline during which time delegates bunkered...

Recovering Marine Wildlife for our Sustainable Development

by Sheldon Ramoutar On 20 December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the 3, March World Wildlife Day to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.  The theme for 2022 "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration" was announced by the Secretariat for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).  CITES is one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade, which was signed in 1973.  It comprises 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union). The 2022 theme is geared towards highlighting and promoting the best practices for...

Fishing for Cutlassfish

Persons driving into Chaguaramas in December 2020 and January 2021 were greeted with the sight of numerous fishing vessels operating close to shore in the vicinity of Alcoa and in William’s Bay. Enquiries by any curious onlooker would have revealed that they were fishing for “cutlassfish” in the late evenings, nights and early mornings. I myself was intrigued by this activity having never seen so many vessels operating in that area. On one occasion, I counted as many as 80 pirogues. Since then, I have fielded numerous questions from both colleagues and the public about the particulars of this fishery and the role of...