The Palau Coral Reef Island Ecosystem (P-CoRIE) Research Team held its fourth annual Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC4) meeting at the Kedarm Conference Room at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) on September 21, 2016.[restrict]
During JCC4, four PICRC researchers presented their current and past projects. Ms. Marine Gouezo’s presentation focused on the reef fish communities in the inner reefs of Palau. During this project, assessment of the most common reef fishes were done, taking into account their size and abundance at the 14 designated sites in Palau. Ms. Gouezo and other PICRC researchers found that different fish communities were found at these 14 sites, but there was no significant difference in the abundance of the difference types of fish, whether herbivorous, carnivorous, or commercially-important. They concluded that there must be further studies done to fully understand the impacts of climate change and localized threats on the reef fish in Palau.
Ms. Evelyn Otto presented her Master’s studies project on the evaluation of sewage on coral reefs. She chose to focus her project on the Malakal Bay, doing a case study on the area. Her study starts at the sewage outflow pump in the Malakal Bay, where she is examining the effects of high nutrient levels on coral reef growth. This study is important because it will help determine the threshold of nutrients on a coral reef environment.
Finally, Mr. Victor Nestor presented his Master’s thesis, which focused on comparing water qualities and coral communities in two places in Japan: the Oura Bay and Kin Bay in Okinawa. He compared coral communities to determine coral health and growth in relation to the water quality and nutrient levels of the two bays. He found that though the water quality was not significantly different, the coral types were found to be different; where the corals in the Kin Bay were the type more susceptible to stress from rapid changes in the water chemistry.
The JCC4 was open to the public and many leaders were present to hear these research projects being presented. PICRC continually strives to share with the public the findings from the projects done here at the Center, as it is important to keep the public informed of such results. [/restrict]