Showing posts from July, 2016

One Caribbean with sea turtles

Anjani Ganase, Trinbagonian marine biologist, continues her exploration of marine Tobago. In this issue, she discusses the work of Dr Michelle Cazabon-Mannette who surveyed sea turtles on the reefs of Tobago.This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on July 28, 2016. Follow Anjani Ganase on twitter @AnjGanase   In some of these columns, I will share the stories of other persons who are connected to coral reefs and the ocean. These connections are made in many ways, through occupation, research, sports or leisure. I will begin with marine biologist, Dr. Michelle Cazabon-Mannette, who grew up in the north of Trinidad and was always curious about the natural world. This curiosity eventually led to her discovery of the underwater world when – at 16 - she got the opportunity to learn to dive in the British Virgin Islands. This opened up a new world for exploration, and she continued to scuba dive on the reefs of Tobago. Her interest in the marine world developed

Owning our Paradise

Anjani Ganase, Trinbagonian marine biologist, continues her appeal to treasure our priceless natural resources, and urges a return to the more entrepreneurial and direct relationship between host homes and visitors, especially in Tobago. This feature "Owning our Paradise" was first published in Tobago Newsday, on Thursday July 21, 2016 Over the last few years, I have been lucky enough to visit coral reef environments across the Caribbean and in the Pacific. I have observed that many people who “live in paradise” are able to benefit and succeed in the tourism industry, when their first priority is to care about their own livelihoods and to protect the coastal ecosystems in their backyards. These fortunate communities are those that know that these natural habitats are their tourism products. And if you are not happy in your backyard, why will anyone else be interested? It also goes beyond that: there is no substitute for home. I often think ba

Learning to care

The first time I visited Buccoo Reef in Tobago, I was 13, a precocious teen on holiday with the family. In the early sixties, travel between Trinidad and Tobago by air was still a precious event reserved for the elite or those, like us, having a first-in-a-lifetime experience. That's where the Buccoo Reef trip fitted. I remember how blue the water was - a blue reserved for the pages of magazines or posters featuring that idyllic Pigeon Point jetty like a finger pointing to the horizonless expanse of bluest blue in our two islands. At the Nylon Pool, we floated as if suspended in sky. I marvelled at the coral, white as bleached bones. I thought then, that was the natural colour of coral. At that time, some 30 years after the marine park was opened (in the 1930s) as we walked in our plastic sandals, we were cautioned not to handle any coral, not to chase the fish. Even then, there were whispers of the decay of the reef, as if touring it was a surreptitious activity, reserved

Precious Buccoo Reef

Anjani Ganase, Trinbagonian marine biologist, begins a weekly column on the value of coral reefs to our islands and people, and especially Tobago. This, the first of her series, was published in the Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 14, 2016 Anjani Ganase is completing her PhD in Coral Reef surveys The Buccoo reef is considered a national and natural icon by Trinbagonians. Yet few of us have had the luxury of exploring beyond the upper edges of the reef, barely a couple metres below the sea surface. To fully understand the true beauty and importance of the Buccoo reef, you need to dive deeper in order to discover and understand how the reef functions.   The Buccoo reef, like many other reefs around the world, is a metropolis for marine life, where corals – stationary animals that grow by building a limestone skeleton – create homes for animals, such as fish, lobster and other invertebrates, sponges, anemones, and plants that live and grow on and among the coral sk