The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) is set to engage in numerous projects and activities this year especially after it successfully raised $166,000 during its anniversary event.
In January, the PICRC researcher team completed ecological surveys in Peleliu’s Protected Area Network (PAN) site known as the Teluleu Conservation Area. The data from these surveys will be used to improve design, evaluation, and implementation of PAN sites. [restrict]
Come February, researchers will continue the PAN monitoring in Angaur. Researchers will also conduct both ecological and socio-economic surveys in Angaur State Conservation to better understand the status of the site, and the locals’ perspective of their protected area.
In February, the researchers will continue tagging tuna and billfish to examine the movement of these highly mobile fish.
The data will provide baseline information to compare the fisheries productivity before and after the establishment of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary.
In mid-February PICRC will be hosting a socio-economic symposium to share results from the Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) project.
In the same month, researchers will complete the two-year field work for PICRC’s coral recruitment research project on the eastern reefs. Now that this data has been collected, researchers will be focusing on analyzing the results to determine how the eastern reefs are recovering from Typhoons Bopha and Haiyan.
On March, PICRC will initiate a grouper study, targeting Tiau, which has been implemented to help understand where these fish are going when they are not aggregating for spawning events.
From March 15 to 17, PICRC will be hosting a workshop on fisheries and food security. The goal of this workshop is to bring experts with diverse backgrounds related to Palau’s marine resources together to build a collective understanding of risks to Palau’s ocean system and identify ways to mitigate these risks.
PICRC will also continue hydrodynamic current modeling. With these models, researchers will gather insight into coral larval supply and dispersion for Palau’s eastern reefs as well as coral and fish larval connectivity all throughout Micronesia. These models help PICRC adapt conservation efforts according to the levels of seeding on the reefs.
Koror State household surveys for socio-economic surveys on the PAN sites is also slated in March.
PICRC PAN socioeconomic monitoring surveys were implemented to gauge community perceptions of these protected areas. To conclude the month, PICRC will complete PAN ecological monitoring in Ngiwal’s PAN site, Ngemai Conservation Area.
PICRC was established to increase and disseminate scientific information not only for Palau, but for the World.
Since its opening in 2001, the center has continued to grow and expand its reach. Its work continues to be locally and internationally relevant.
PICRC had been receiving support from the community and many donors since its inception. (PR) [/restrict]