Showing posts from March, 2019

Coral Reefs of Northeast Tobago

Dr Anjani Ganase begins the exploration and photography of the coral reefs of Tobago for the Maritime Ocean Collection at Charlotteville. Coral reef research in Tobago began in the late 1970s and 80s, right around the time when Trinidad and Tobago established the Institute of Marine Affairs. I was told of young scientists roaming the Tobago coastline by boat to explore reefs farther east along the Caribbean coastline to discover something other than Buccoo in the southwest. Even back then, Buccoo reef was heavily impacted by pollution from coastal development in the area. Coral reefs in northeast Tobago were more removed from disturbance, but also never thoroughly explored and surveyed (at least by local scientists). Researchers from the Institute of Marine Affairs, such as Richard Laydoo and Doon Ramsaroop were some of the first to map coral reefs in northeast Tobago. When the surveys were carried out in the 1980s, many Caribbean coral reefs were on the cusp of change. White ban


On an island like Tobago, everyone wants to watch the sea; and it’s just as easy from a place high up. Pat Ganase looks at Tobago from the top; and gathers some interesting facts about living on the island. My friend’s mission was to spend two days in Tobago to see if she could find a place to relocate her studio. She is an artist and a potter. Her business in Trinidad has dwindled to the point where she now teaches her art to earn a living. The maintenance of house and garden at her current studio is beyond what she can earn from teaching and selling a few pots. One of the first stops brought us to the home of a Trinidadian couple who retired and relocated to Tobago over ten years ago. “Everything is easily available here,” she told us. The utilities are reliable; health facilities are accessible. Plus there is a social life that suits her retirement: she has joined a choir and a yoga class, and plays bridge; he golfs and sails. The home is made for entertaining with large o

Tobago's Coral Reefs Go Online

Dr Anjani Ganase, marine biologist discusses the partnership – Maritime Financial Group , Underwater Earth and SpeSeas - to showcase Tobago’s coral reefs in a significant Collection that will be available before the end of 2019 anywhere with an internet connection. What is this special Collection of Tobago’s coral reefs? The Maritime Ocean Collection will be the first on-line library of photos and videos showing coral reefs all around Tobago. It will be available for individuals, communities, schools, NGOs and companies in Trinidad and Tobago, and anywhere in the world, to view and to use for science and education. A visual information platform, it will be a powerful advocate for marine protection and conservation. The Collection of imagery will serve as a baseline for the state of Tobago’s reefs in 2019. It is a research and learning tool that can be used to gain understanding of the diversity of our coral reefs. Reefscapes (as in Google Street View but under the ocea

Fete, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repeat!

Carnival is over. And we may be proud of the clean streets on Ash Wednesday. But where does it all go: the glitter, the beads, mylar strips, armbands, feathers, zippers and flag poles, plastic and metallic supports? Dr Anjani Ganase suggests we take a sober look at waste generated by Carnival, and make better plans for the next one. Carnival is rags, flags, beads, feathers and bumsies set in motion to a soca beat. It is symbolic of excess in every way but an integral part of our culture. While the drinking, wining and waving can be put away for another year, the materials in the costumes, the single use plastic containers, cups and cutlery used to water and feed people on the road used on two days of masquerading, as well as at the fetes happening in the two months leading up to carnival can amount to more than a hill of garbage. Hundreds of thousand masqueraders and revellers generate a huge amount of plastic waste. The majority of this will end up in land fills, in our drains a

Tobago's Perfect Catch

  In Tobago, it’s easy to live off the sea, and you are encouraged to eat fresh fish every way you can. Here are a few thoughts about finding fresh fish, and some recipes. First published in Newsday Tobago, February 28, 2019 (All photos courtesy Pat Ganase) In the best fishing villages in Tobago – Buccoo, Castara and Charlotteville – you can hear when the boats come in. Reach the jetty or depot with your basin or pot, and select your fish. Within minutes, skillful fishermen or their helpers will scale, gut, slice or fillet your choice. Then you are on your way to prepare – with simple ingredients – the most delicious fish you will ever eat. Most Tobagonians already know their way around the fishermen, fishing depots, and fish, so these pointers might be more useful for visitors. Talk to the fishermen. This is not easy to do when they have just hauled their boat in, or are moving containers filled with fish to shore. What was their catch? Where did th