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Showing posts from November, 2016

Cuba's Jardines de la Reina

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One of the more pristine coral ecosystems in the New World, the Jardines de la Reina, south of Cuba, was named by Christopher Columbus for Queen Isabella. This week, Anjani Ganase, marine biologist, wonders how the opening up of Cuban-US relations will affect the protected marine park that was once Fidel Castro’s favourite fishing ground.  This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 24, 2016 Follow Anjani on twitter @AnjGanase
Recent discussions between the USA and Cuba have begun to open up relations between the two countries. For the first time in over forty years, we consider the question how opening Cuba’s market might affect the rest of the Caribbean with respect to economic competition and trade deals. For others, there is concern that this dramatic shift in Cuba’s economy will impact its natural environment. Will Cuba be precipitated into the development faux pas experienced by the rest of the Caribbean? Or will Cuba, an observer over these years, …

Release the Kraken!

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In the movie, Clash of the Titans, Zeus unleashes his ultimate weapon when he commands, “Release the Kraken!” What is this monster (pronounced krak-en)? This week, Anjani Ganase, marine biologist, tells us about the oceanic giant squid that has been invoked in other films such as Pirates of the Caribbean. Although none as immense as those described by fishermen of a thousand years ago have yet been seen, who can say what lies in the unexplored deep seas that encircle our world.  This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 17, 2016 Follow Anjani on twitter @AnjGanase

The Norse legend of the Kraken tells about the mythical sea creature that lived off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. It is a giant squid that rises up from the deep to crush vessels and pull fishing boats to a watery grave. Some of these stories recounted since the 1200s were documented by the Danish naturalist, Bishop Erik Pontoppidan, as part of his written works on the natural history …

The Caribbean War against Lionfish

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This week, Anjani Ganase, marine biologist, tells us what we need to know about the presence of lionfish on Caribbean reefs. With no natural predators in the Atlantic, lionfish feed voraciously upon juvenile fish that are essential to healthy coral reefs. Introduced carelessly in Atlantic waters, man must take on the responsibility to stem the invasion. This article was first published in the Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Follow Anjani on twitter @AnjGanase Lionfish Invasion Naturally present in the Indo-Pacific tropical waters, the lionfish is a common ornamental fish in the aquarium trade. In the 1980s, two species of lionfish - red lionfish (Pterois volitans) and the devil firefish (Pterois miles) the less common of the two - were introduced into the marine waters along Florida’s east coast, a notorious “hotspot” for marine introductions. Lionfish is one of over 30 introduced marine species off the coast of Florida. By the 1990s they expanded their range farther alon…

What Coral Reefs tell us about Climate Change

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This week, Anjani Ganase, marine biologist, shares new knowledge about Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. With a relatively newer history, Caribbean reefs and first peoples may have information important to survival on our islands; it’s time to observe and research our own environment and record the traditional stories. This feature was first published in the Tobago Newsday, on Thursday November 3, 2016. Follow Anjani on twitter @AnjGanase
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR), one of the largest natural structures on planet Earth, is visible from space. This natural wonder is about 2300 km long and 344 400 km2 in area, larger than the UK, Switzerland and The Netherlands combined. It is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, home to as many as 6000 marine organisms, including species of corals, invertebrates, fish, marine mammals, sharks and turtles.The reef is also ancient, over 500,000 years old; over this time the edge of Australia’s continental shelf and the reef connected to it has …