Palau International Coral Reef Center-PICRC

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Palau International Coral Reef Center

19 December, 2014



PICRC’s Chief Aquarist and Communication & Outreach Officer attend Aquarium Training in Japan

Palau International Coral Reef Center’s (PICRC) Communications and Outreach Officer, Ms. Geraldine Rengiil and Chief Aquarist, Mr. Asap Bukurrou, attended a three- week aquarium training in Japan.  The first part of the training was conducted in Aquamarine Fukushima (AMF), which has a friendship agreement with PICRC. The last week of training was conducted at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (OCA), located within the Ocean Expo Park in Japan, one of the largest Aquariums in the world. Mr. Bukurrou trained on animal husbandry, electricity and pumps as well as overall aquarium facility maintenance while Ms. Rengiil trained in the areas of education, volunteer programs, media and research and aquarium management.

Information gathered from research facilities included those about equipment maintenance and facility management including specimen storage and displays. One of many things that the staff took away from the training was ways to improve electrical usage by implementing lighting systems that provide sufficient light but at a reduced cost. Overall, the training involved visitation to four aquariums (AMF, OCA, Niigata City Aquarium and Tokyo Sea Life Park), Sesoko Research Station (Tropical Biosphere Research Center) and the University of the Ryukyus.

One of the major results of this training course is the plan to establish a new goby display at the Palau Aquarium. Staff from Palau Aquarium will collaborate with staff from AMF to create a new display on gobies at Palau Aquarium, which would be completed by March 2015. In addition, Palau Aquarium will create more interactive displays and programs to effectively relay research and scientific findings to students and the communities. Palau Aquarium is one of the main attractions in Palau and more importantly, serves to educate students, community members and visitors about the importance of protecting our marine resources from land to sea. This training was made possible through support from Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem (PCoRIE), a collaboration research project among PICRC, Palau Community College and the University of the Ryukyus, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).



12 December, 2014



PICRC releases its 2015 Arts & Tides Calendar


Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) announces the release of its 2015 Arts & Tides Calendar to partners, schools and the general public. The theme for the 2015 calendar is, “Sustainable Fishing Practices in Palau”. As fishes are very important to our people in Palau, PICRC promotes sustainable fishing practices in our islands to help ensure that future generations will continue to have abundant fish resources. This is one of the reasons for PICRC to conduct research projects and educate the public about Palau’s marine environment and its amazing biodiversity.

With the Arts & Tides Calendar, PICRC hopes that it will foster awareness of the marine environment in Palau's youth and local community, through calendar information provided in the calendar the participation in the annual calendar art contest. Palau’s school children submit artwork for the calendar in an annual contest, which encourages them to seriously think about how they perceive the marine environment.

PICRC would like to thank the student participants and all of the judges, Ms. Carol Whalen, Mrs. Mandy Etpison, Ms. Adora Imetuker, Mr. Yalap Yalap and Sacha Sukasam who volunteered their time and efforts to create this calendar. PICRC would also like to sincerely thank the following sponsors, whose generous donations have helped achieve this goal and make the calendar a success.


Embassy of the Republic of China: $1,500

Western Caroline Trading Center (WCTC): $1,500

Surangel & Sons Company: $1,000

Surangel’s Construction Company: $1,000

Palau Royal Resort: $1,000

Papago International Resort: $1,000

Sun’s Flower Shop: $700

Palau Pacific Resort: $500

Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporation: $500

Imperial Palau (IMPAC): $500

Rock Island Tour Company, Ltd: $500

SPLASH: $500

Deloitte & Touche: $500

Belau Medical Clinic: $300

Emaimelei Restaurant: $200

This calendar is an important source of information for the community because it contains Palau's tidal information with moon phases, closed and open fish seasons, and information about regulated marine species. Free copies of the calendar have been distributed to sponsors, students and relevant agencies.   Additional copies of  the 2015 Arts & Tides Calendar are available for sale in the Giant Clam Gift Shop at Palau Aquarium located at PICRC for $4.50 each.  Please contact Ms. Ines Kintoki at telephone number 488-6950 or e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you are interested in being a sponsor for 2016 Arts & Tides Calendar.


04 December, 2014



PICRC, JICA and JWRC conduct the 3rd international training course for coastal management

Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) together opened the last part of the training course on “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Coral Reefs and Other Coastal Ecosystems at the PICRC Laboratory on Monday, December 1st. This is one of the international training programs of Okinawa International Center (OIC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to build capacity for coral island countries. The course was started in Okinawa, Japan on November 10th for 3 weeks training and moved to Palau on November 30th for another 3 weeks until its closing on December 19th.  This is the last year of the 3 year program for PICRC to host this training course. The opening ceremony of the course was held on Monday, December 1st at the PICRC’s Kedarm conference room at 9:30 am. There were a total of eight participants from five different countries (Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Mauritius, Kiribati and Palau) including conservation officers from Koror state as local observers.

“It is an honor for PICRC to be asked by JICA to host part of their international training program.  This training in Palau, being hosted by PICRC, demonstrates that Palau’s efforts in conservation and management is recognized internationally, and that many countries can learn from experiences and expertise here in Palau”, according to the CEO of PICRC Dr. Yimnang Golbuu.  Many of the environmental agencies in Palau will be contributing to the training program by providing lectures during the course.

The objective of the training course is to enhance the capacity on sustainable usage of the coastal ecosystems.  The overall goal is to enhance the Protected Areas and its effective management. During the training course in Okinawa, Japan, all the participants were given lectures about different subjects on management planning such as national policy, state policy, stakeholder analysis, and basic biology and ecology of the coastal ecosystems. Then, the participants traveled to Palau where they would learn about the Protected Areas Network (PAN) as successful practices on enhancing protected area for conservation of national biodiversity. Participants would learn from all the different subjects pertaining to conservation and sustainable use of the coral reef ecosystem, as well as the different cultures of Palau and Japan.

The final goal of the training is to develop an action plan for each participant base on the issues shared with the other countries’ representatives applying lessons learned from the training course. All the country representatives will present their own action plans at the Mini Symposium at PICRC Kedarm Conference room on December 19th where the members of the Palau Conservation Consortium will be invited to have overall discussion with the participants on better management of coastal ecosystems. The participants will also be awarded certificates of completion at the closing ceremony of the training course.


02 December, 2014



Forum on Connectivity between Mangrove and Coral Reef Ecosystems was conducted

On November 24th, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) together with Palau Community College (PCC) and University of the Ryukyus (UoR), with the assistance of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), jointly held the second symposium titled "Connectivity between mangrove and coral reef ecosystems with reference to their ecosystem services" as a part of the project called “Palau Coral Reef and Island Ecosystem” also known as “P-CoRIE” at PCC Assembly Hall. This was the second time for PICRC to host this kind of symposium with its partners and related organizations.

The Objective of the symposium was to discuss about the connectivity between the ecosystems of mangroves, seagrass beds, lagoons, inner reefs and outer reefs as well as the importance of marine biodiversity in our environment. Also, to discuss on how the different studies comply and contribute to Palau’s current environmental issues. Over forty people from other related organizations of coral reef environment and management included the members of the Protected Area Network (PAN), Ministry of Education (MOE), P-CoRIE, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and PCC attended the presentations. President of PCC, Dr. Patrick U. Tellei opened the symposium followed by the introduction of P-CoRIE and objectives of the symposium by Dr. Makoto Tsuchiya from UoR. PICRC Researchers Shirley Koshiba and Lincoln Rehm, Makoto Tsuchiya, Haruko Kurihara, James D. Reimer, and Takahashi Nakamura from UoR gave presentations on, “Taro Fields protect coral reefs trapping eroded fine particles", "Gaining insight on Marine Protected Area (MPA) health through long-term seagrass monitoring in Palau", "Distribution of organic materials around river mouth areas and ecosystem services of mangrove forests", "Climate change and blue carbon in mangrove, seagrass and ecosystem", "Characteristics of biodiversity of Nikko Bay and comparison to west and east coasts of Palau" and "Monitoring of Coral Reefs in the P-CoRIE project: Coral Reef Community Structure in Palau’s inner reef”, respectively. This symposium is very important because of understanding the connectivity between our marine ecosystems and human society is the key to support effective management of our marine resources and conservation of biodiversity.

Conducting this symposium fulfills PICRC’s efforts in collaborating with partners and other organizations to provide necessary science to support effective management and sustainable use of coastal resources and conservation. PICRC’s mission is to guide efforts supporting coral reef stewardship through research and its applications for the people of Palau, Micronesia and the world.