An ocean of trouble

Whether it’s the Buccoo Reef, the Gulf of Paria, Mayaro, or Cap-de-Ville and Otaheite, there has long been concern about the delicate marine ecologies of Trinidad and Tobago’s bodies of water in the wake of human activities.

There was more concern today after a BBC report that stated: “the Caribbean Sea is among among areas most damaged by human activity” in the world.

The article attributed the damage to climate change, pollution caused by shipping traffic, and overfishing – primarily from commercial rather than subsistence industries. Just this week, the Discover TnT blog reported on the illegal capture and sale of protected dolphins in the face of depleted fish populations, which testifies to this phenomenon.

Trinidad & Tobago is a unique country, as both islands are credited with tremendous levels of biodiversity – both terrestrial and marine. Trinidad has been cited as among the top ten places in the world for biodiversity per square kilometre, and Tobago is home to the oldest natural forest reserve in the western hemisphere.

But whether it’s taking extra care when visiting the Buccoo reef, not using jet skis, disposing of rubbish properly, recycling paper, plastics and glass where possible, or just turning off the fan or TV when we leave a room, both locals and visitors can take small steps to ensuring that the nation’s natural resources are not depleted unduly.

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