Ongoing coastal fisheries research is tailored to meet current and anticipated management needs and regularly results in management recommendations.
The reef fin-fish fishery is an important part of Palau’s economy. In addition, the dive tourism industry is directly dependent on healthy stocks of large reef fishes such as groupers, bumphead parrotfish, Napoleon wrasse, sharks, and rays. Current research topics at PICRC include determining spatial and temporal characteristics of grouper aggregation sites, stock assessment of bumphead parrotfish and Napolean Wrasse, and the impact of harvesting on important fisheries species.
In addition, there is inevitably some overlap between PICRC’s ongoing reef fish monitoring and assessment programs and the Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) research program, since the majority of Palau’s MPAs were created specifically to protect reef fish stocks.
Priority research topics change over time based on prevailing trends in fisheries use and management. As a result, it is important to regularly identify priority research topics by meeting with policymakers, key stakeholders, conservation and management organizations and others. PICRC will hold at least one consultation annually to identify key research needs.
To help avoid generating expectations that can’t be met, the Center will set out clear parameters on the types of research it has capacity and resources to pursue. If topics are outside the Center’s set parameters, but are high on priority for managers; the Center will work collaboratively on a case-by-case basis to pursue necessary financing, expertise, and training in order to do the needed research