My Deep Sea, My Backyard – Trinidad and Tobago

70% of nations have deep-sea environments within their maritime Exclusive Economic Zones; yet only 16% of them are able to explore those environments. This is especially true for less economically developed countries. The dearth of technological capability and knowledge leads to a lack of exploration, inappropriate or inadequate management decisions, and unaware populations. Our pilot project will begin to change this by empowering nations to explore their own deep-sea backyards using low-cost technology, while building lasting in-country capacity.

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Photo Credit: Ocean Exploration Trust

‘My Deep Sea, My Backyard’ will take place in two small island developing states—the Republic of Kiribati and Trinidad and Tobago. It will utilize deep-sea Drop Cameras developed by National Geographic’s Exploration Technology team and OpenROV’s Trident Remotely Operated Vehicles to explore our mesophotic zone and deep ocean for the first time. Both technologies collect compelling imagery, but require minimal resources and expertise.

Why should we explore our deep ocean?
The deep ocean is not only our largest ecosystem here in Trinidad and Tobago but also in the world, covering more than 60% of the Earth’s surface! It sequesters carbon reducing the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, cycles nutrients and even aids in detoxification. It also provides us with key resources such as food, oil and gas, metals, pharmaceuticals, and, of course, inspires us! This is especially true in Trinidad and Tobago with the exploration for deepwater oil and gas reserves, a key source of economic development, currently underway. We need to understand our deep sea in order to know how we are impacting it and therefore how to manage it, and we can only do this by first discovering what habitats and communities exist. Remember: Our planet cannot be healthy without a healthy deep ocean!

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Photo Credit: Ocean Exploration Trust

What’s the plan for ‘My Deep Sea, My Backyard’ in Trinidad and Tobago?

  • 13th to 17th August 2018 – Training Workshop at UWI, St. Augustine
  • 4th to 8th November 2018 – Training Workshop in Boston, USA
  • 8th to 10th November 2018 – National Ocean Exploration Forum, USA
  • TBD – Deep-Sea Careers Events
  • TBD – Hands-On Exploration for Kids Using a Remotely Operated Vehicle
  • TBD 2019 – A Deep-Sea Exhibition Featuring Photos, Videos and Samples Collected off Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Deep-Sea-Inspired Pieces of Art

If you would like to be a part of ‘My Deep Sea, My Backyard’ (e.g. as a funder or participant, or would like to have a deep-sea event at your school), please get in touch here .

Follow our blog here for regular updates!

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