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Trinidad and Tobago

Hassanali K.,Institute of Marine Affairs
Ocean and Coastal Management

Activities and resources found in the ocean and coastal realm of Trinidad and Tobago contribute critically to the identity and well-being of the country's citizenry. However, the current governance framework and capacity to manage facets of the coastal zone is proving to be inadequate, with resource mismanagement, degradation and depletion evident. This is compounded by the absence of a co-ordinating mechanism and collaborative process through which stakeholders can seek to cohesively manage the ocean and coastal sphere in order to minimise conflict and maintain its flows of ecosystem goods and services in the long term.This paper recommends more sustainable, equitable and feasible means to manage the ocean and coastal realm for which Trinidad and Tobago has claimed stewardship. It critically analyses the current governance framework and juxtaposes it against identified theoretical and observed ICZM best practices worldwide. A more co-ordinated, cohesive and collaborative approach to governance is proposed that is participatory and co-operative in nature and underpinned by principles aligned to achieving sustainability in economic, social and ecological realms. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Buglass S.,University of British Columbia | Donner S.D.,University of British Columbia | Alemu I J.B.,Institute of Marine Affairs
Marine Pollution Bulletin

In 2010, severe coral bleaching was observed across the southeastern Caribbean, including the island of Tobago, where coral reefs are subject to sedimentation and high nutrient levels from terrestrial runoff. Here we examine changes in corals' colony size distributions over time (2010-2013), juvenile abundances and sedimentation rates for sites across Tobago following the 2010 bleaching event. The results indicated that since pre-bleaching coral cover was already low due to local factors and past disturbance, the 2010 event affected only particular susceptible species' population size structure and increased the proportion of small sized colonies. The low density of juveniles (mean of 5.4±6.3juveniles/m-2) suggests that Tobago's reefs already experienced limited recruitment, especially of large broadcasting species. The juvenile distribution and the response of individual species to the bleaching event support the notion that Caribbean reefs are becoming dominated by weedy non-framework building taxa which are more resilient to disturbances. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Darsan J.,Institute of Marine Affairs
Caribbean Geography

Cocos Bay, Trinidad, has a very dynamic system owing to the open bay morphology, and exposure to the Atlantic Ocean. 'The interplay of coastal processes, sediment characteristics and coastline orientation account for variations in the intensity of the processes operating at each beach. While the nearshore coastal - geomorphology has received much attention by researchers, the offshore bathymetry and sedimentology remained fairly unresolved. In order to fully appreciate the nearshore-ojfshore relations at this bay, a hydrographic survey was undertaken. This paper examines the offshore bathymetry and sediment characteristics at several sections in Cocos Bay. Results indicate that megaripples and sandwaves with superimposed ripples dominate the offshore region, where the megaripples have a relationship with the surface wavelengths of oncoming incident waves. Source

Alemu I. J.B.,Institute of Marine Affairs
Marine Pollution Bulletin

Trinidad and Tobago was the last Caribbean island to be invaded by the lionfish and since its invasion in 2012 they have spread to most coral reef and hard bottom environments. Standard reef fish surveys were used to assess lionfish population densities and size distributions from 2013-2015. Total lengths ranged between 6.2-40.4cm and 2.2-950g in weight. The length-weight relationship was described by W=0.0002L2.5654. Fish densities were highest in the northeast Tobago at 326lionfish/ha and the lowest in the southwest Tobago at 10.5lionfish/ha. In order to curtail the spread of this invasive species, a culling programme was initiated at selected reefs to regularly remove lionfish at monthly intervals. On the selected reefs 26-30% reduction in mean lionfish biomass and 25-27% reduction in abundance was noted compared to control sites (p<0.05). © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

In many countries of the Caribbean, tourism is a mainstay to economies. Semi-autonomous Tobago's Buccoo Reef Marine Park (BRMP) was established as one of the island's premier tourist attractions. However, the increasing and poorly regulated activity in the coastal zone that is taking place to complement the burgeoning tourism industry, threatens the ecological integrity of the Buccoo Reef. This paper investigates the synergies between conservation, sustainable tourism and improving societal economic and social well-being. Within a framework that recognises the strategic importance of a competitive tourism product, it examines how the Buccoo Reef impacts the livelihoods and ongoing development in Tobago. It explores the extent and probable causes for the Reef's decline. Proposed is how the Park can better achieve conservation of the reef ecosystem while encouraging economic and social growth on the island, with a goal of more effectively managing and sustainably exploiting the coral reef resources of Tobago. © 2013 United Nations. Source

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