Posts

Talking Tourism in Tobago

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Phill Diamond Williams is a Tobago entrepreneur, home grown and educated. He understands that what visitors want in Tobago is what Tobagonians want for themselves. One of the challenges is to validate the easy-going values-based Tobago way of life so that it remains the island offering that raises the bar in the tourism industry. He talks with Pat Ganase.   I grew up in Bon Accord. Both parents are from Bethel. I have one sister. My mother worked at the MK Hall School in Carnbee and I had lessons there. It was a model school and should never have closed.   At the age of 19 (2003), I went to Trinidad to the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) to work towards a business degree. I completed the Bachelor’s and went on to an MBA which I achieved in 2010. I stayed to work at the USC, moving into the accounting department before I left in 2015.   I wanted to return to Tobago and build my own business. I started selling cars, foreign used and local used.

Protecting the Parrotfish

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Dr Anjani Ganase, marine ecologist, explains the benefits of parrotfish for healthy coral reefs; and urges a ban on parrotfish harvesting. Better yet, we should choose to eat lionfish, and pass on the parrotfish.   While coral reefs are major habitat providers to an array of marine organisms, the ability of corals to continue to grow and provide their important functions is governed by a number of physical and biological parameters. Over the last fifty years, when coral reefs have suffered some of the worst degradations, scientists have discovered an important ally in keeping corals on coral reefs, the parrotfish. Parrotfish are common on coral reefs around the world. As herbivores, they spend their days grazing the reef surfaces for algae. A school of parrotfish can clear large tracts of the reef surface of algae. This action is crucial for new coral larvae to settle and grow to form new reef structure and is vital in the recovery of reefs following any disturbance that results in

Some Secret Birds of Tobago

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As we step into 2021, let us commit to appreciating the incredible biodiversity of our islands, whether we understand all that exists here or not. Faraaz Abdool reveals some of Tobago’s unseen birds. For each bird one sees, there are several others that go undetected. Whether by camouflage, habit, or habitat, some species of birds have mastered the art of remaining unseen. Our hearts may be charmed by the Bananaquits and Blue-grey Tanagers. We may hold our breaths when we see the magnificent Ruby-topaz Hummingbird feeding on some nearby flowers. But what about the birds we aren’t lucky enough to feast our eyes upon? Nocturnal birds are often the sources of the mystery sounds and fleeting shadows of the night. Many of these birds are more often heard than seen. Take the mournful wail of the Common Potoo for example. This bird’s descending whistle stirred such emotion that it inspired its local name: poor-me-one. Common Potoos can be found throughout forests on Trinidad and Tobago

To Tobago with Love

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A long way from home, Richard JackJames sends Christmas greetings to Tobago from South Korea where he is stationed with the US military, his employer for the last eighteen years. Pat Ganase found him on FaceBook where he has been posting stunning aerial photos from all the places he visited, but especially Tobago. This was featured in the Newsday Tobago December 24, 2020.                                                                         Richard JackJames “shouts out” to Tobago from South Korea.     I was born in Hopeton, Bethel. I grew up with my two younger sisters and my parents who are now both deceased. My father Claude Jack was a fireman and my mother Roslyn James-Jack was self-employed, “a jack of all trades” and business woman.   I attended Scarborough Secondary School and I graduated in 2001.   My strongest childhood memory was just sitting at the airport every weekend and watching airplanes take off and land. I always dreamed about becoming a pilot. Even

Not only plastics ... chemicals too!

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  Pesticides, phosphates, soap and shampoo, all have an impact on the natural world!   Dr Anjani Ganase looks at how everyday chemical use affects other species and the environment.   We impact our surrounding environment in more ways than we know. Humans alter the physical and biological landscapes and seascapes dramatically and silently. Less obvious are the chemical infiltrations that occur through some of our common activities. Our daily routines –   showering, cleaning the house, driving to work, all casual activities, even when we try to be mindful - all leave a footprint on the environment. Let’s look at a few chemicals that cause unintended collateral damage to wildlife.   The chemicals in our tyres A recently published study finally cracked the mystery of dying salmon in the northwest USA. These deaths have occurred in creeks adjacent to urban centres. For years, scientists would observe salmon suffer behavioural changes including swimming in circles, and gasping, wh

The Conscious Fisher

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Lehron Narell Brooks is more than your average Tobago fisherman; he is a conscious fisher. When he fishes, he takes selectively, choosing size and species of fish. He is a self-taught free-diver and spear-fisher, with incredible eyesight; a good instinct for finding fish; and lightning reflexes. He has fished above and under water, and is distressed by the declining stock. Soon, he thinks he may turn to charter boating or art. Drawing has been his love since secondary school, but it’s the freedive fishing that gives him a charge. It’s clear though that his first love is Ayla his four-year-old daughter who is inspiring many drawings. (As told to Pat Ganase)                                    First wahoo, 48 lbs, St Giles Island, September 2015, underwater photo by Richard Parkinson     When I was 12, I had a makeshift spear gun and some swimming goggles. The first time I went under was nothing. I could barely hold my breath and it took a lot of dives to catch a fish.   Over time,