Coral bleaching. Image: Ken Clifton
Oceans

Research finds that in the Caribbean, overseas territories are more vulnerable to coral bleaching than independent countries

According to a new study, independent Caribbean island countries tend to be less vulnerable to coral bleaching than overseas territories: “We were surprised to find that independent islands have lower social-ecological vulnerability than territories…. Territories — such as the Dutch islands of Sint Maarten and Saba — tend to be …

Stony coral tissue loss disease. Image: via US NOAA
Biodiversity
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Stony coral tissue loss disease spreads through the northern Caribbean

In recent weeks both St. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands have reported cases of stony coral tissue loss disease. The first incidence of stony coral tissue loss disease was recorded in 2014 in Miami-Dade county in Florida, and the disease has since spread south through the Florida Keys. Outbreaks …

Minesto Deep Green. Image: via Minesto
Energy

Government of Antigua and Barbuda signs ocean energy MoU

Media release — Swedish marine energy developer Minesto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. Through a feasibility study, facilitated by the United Nations Office for Project Services, the parties will explore the possibilities of supplying the Eastern Caribbean with renewable ocean energy by Minesto’s technology. Minesto …

Sargassum on a Caribbean beach. Image: Mark Yokoyama
Oceans

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism launches study on sargassum impacts in the Caribbean

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has launched a study to document the impacts of the recurring influxes of sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean Sea: Over the past 7 years, massive Sargassum influxes have been having adverse effects on national and regional economies in the Caribbean, with substantial loss of …

Shark, the Bahamas. Image: Mark Yokoyama
Biodiversity

Beneath the Waves and shark conservation in The Bahamas

Marine biologist Melissa Cristina Márquez writes about shark conservation organisation Beneath the Waves and the research they are doing in The Bahamas. According to Dr. Austin Gallagher, the organisation’s Chief Scientist, “There are few places worldwide that are as important to sharks than the Bahamas.” In 2018, Beneath the Waves launched one …

Coral Vita website screenshot.
Climate Change

Coral Vita: Coral farming in The Bahamas

Gator Halpern, UN Environment’s 2018 Young Champion of the Earth for Latin America and the Caribbean, is working with his company Coral Vita to build the world’s first commercial land-based coral farm, in The Bahamas. Coral Vita’s approach differs from most coral restoration projects in that it uses land-based coral …

Barbados beach. Image: Ben Geach.
Oceans

Coral reefs worth billions to the Caribbean tourism industry

According to a recent study by the Nature Conservancy, coral reefs contribute over US$7.9 billion annually to the Caribbean economy through tourism. This represents 23% of all tourism expenditures and more than 10% of the region’s GDP. The study, which was supported by JetBlue, the World Travel and Tourism Council, …