Volume 73

The classification of nearshore habitats and organisms around Chacachacare Bay, Chacachacare Island, Trinidad and Tobago using a drop camera video system.

Lue Shue. S; K. Kingon; D. Ramsewak
Download PDF Open PDF in Browser

Other Information

Date: November, 2020

Pages: 72

Event: Proceedings of the Seventy-Three Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Virtual

Country: Virtual


Due to a paucity of information regarding the impact of threats faced by coastal ecosystems throughout the world, it is difficult to effectively plan and implement strategies to prevent the decline of these ecosystems. The detailed mapping of coastal areas to identify and locate habitats and ecosystems is an essential first step in creating resources management plans. A coastal classification scheme was developed for Trinidad and Tobago in 1983 by the Institute of Marine Affairs, however, this classification scheme lacks the components necessary to facilitate detailed planning. The Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) was developed to offer a flexible and hierarchical framework that can be applied across various scales making it an ideal system to contribute to effective coastal management planning. For this study the CMECS was applied to the nearshore marine habitats within Chacachacare Bay, Trinidad and Tobago. A drop camera video system was used as the primary data collection tool. Application of CMECS to 63 sites identified 27 rocky, 15 sandy and 21 coral reef habitats throughout the study area which appeared to have experienced a recent phase shift from Porites porites to dominated by macro-algae. The 63 sites surveyed comprised of 4 significantly different biotic groups: branching coral reef, diverse colonizers, leathery/leafy algal bed and turf algal bed. The CMECS method of generating coastal habitat information proved to be a relatively inexpensive yet rapid means of filling gaps in our knowledge of tropical coastal ecosystems.

PDF Preview