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, …

Photograph of the Belize Barrier Reef from the International Space Station. Image: Jeff Williams (NASA).
Biodiversity

Working to build climate change resilience for the Belize Barrier Reef

Marine and climate scientists from Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the World Wildlife Fund are working to protect the Belize Barrier Reef, and the entire Meso American Barrier Reef System, from the effects of climate change: Warm-water coral reefs—composed of stony corals, algae, and other organisms—are classified as a “unique …

Seagrass (Thalassia testudinum). Image: James St. John.
Biodiversity

The value of nature: seagrass beds save beaches and money

The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research reports on recent research, carried out in the Caribbean, that shows how seagrass saves beaches and money by preventing erosion and reducing the need for artificial beach nourishment: Seagrass beds are so effective in protecting tropical beaches from erosion, that they can reduce …

Belizer Barrier Reef. Image: Nancy Gerard Bégin
Biodiversity

Belize and Australia exchange experiences on barrier reef conservation and World Heritage Site management

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest is the world’s largest coral reef system. The Belize Barrier Reef is part of the world’s second largest coral reef system, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (also known as the Great Mayan Reef).  Both the Great Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef …