On Tuesday, June 9th, 2020, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) researcher Asap Bukurrou gave a presentation about the state of coral reef fisheries in Palau to the Koror State Government leadership, Koror community members, and elders. The presentation summarized the findings of a technical report published by PICRC, assessing the status of commercially important reef fish in Palau. The information will be used by Koror State as they work with other partners to manage their fisheries resources collaboratively, to ensure that fish are available for both current and future generations.
Underwater surveys were conducted by PICRC in 2017 at 94 sites across Palau. This is the first assessment of reef fish stocks across Palau and the data provides a baseline which can be used to assess changes over time. Researcher Bukurrou mentioned in his presentation the methods used to carry out the study, as well as the information that could be elicited from the study, such the abundance of reef fish across Palau, what is affecting their numbers and sizes, and whether fish populations are currently overexploited. Koror State leaders and community members were responsive to the presentation and participated in a productive discussion about natural resource management using the scientific data.
One of the main roles of PICRC is to conduct research and studies that will help guide management and conservation of Palau’s marine resources. As Koror State continues its efforts to manage the coral reef fisheries in their waters, PICRC will continue to support their efforts with information from their research and monitoring work.