On June 10, Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) held its Inception Workshop at the Tommy Remengesau Jr. Building at the center. The inception workshop was the official project launching for strengthening management of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). The meeting was a way to raise awareness and increase the support for the PNMS project among stakeholders, understand the current management and challenges, and explain the management arrangements, roles and responsibilities of the implementing agencies and all parties involved to ensure the success of the PNMS. There were about 51 attendees from partner agencies as well as members of the PNMS Advisory Committee. The workshop was organized by PICRC, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE), and Ministry of Justice (MOJ), in which they were able to give a brief management overview for the project.
Ocean acidification (OA) is a reduction in the pH of the ocean over time, caused primarily by uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the earth’s atmosphere. OA reduces the amount of the calcium carbonate available, which marine organisms need to build their shells or skeletons. Marine organisms such as corals, clams, crabs and other shellfish may be threatened as OA continues to increase due to high concentrations of CO2. Therefore, our livelihood, economy, and culture will eventually be affected by OA as we are dependent on our ocean and the marine life.
The enormous importance of reef fish to Palauans for sustenance, cultural practices and livelihood, necessitates regular monitoring to keep track of the status of their population, size and diversity, especially with the more targeted commercially important fishes. In 2017, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) initiated its nation-wide monitoring program to determine the status of commercially important reef fish stocks at 94 sites from Kayangel to Angaur. The states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol were excluded in the program due to their remoteness while Ngeruangel Atoll in Kayangel was excluded, given its status as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) since this study targets commercially important fish stocks in locations open to fishing.
The increasing ocean acidification (OA) due to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), has prompted greater concern and interest among policy makers and scientists in the Pacific region to increase collaboration and cooperation to find solutions and minimize the negative impacts of OA. Part of this effort is a series of regional workshops and meetings addressing OA.
The first meeting,“Pacific Island Ocean Acidification (OA) Monitoring Dialogue”, was held earlier this month on May 6th. The meeting was organized by the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), the Pacific Partnership on Ocean Acidification (PPOA), and the Pacific Islands Global Ocean Observing System (PI-GOOS).
Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) would like to thank Surangel & Sons Company for their donation of $1,500 and Surangel Construction Company for their donation of $1,500 for the 2022 Arts & Tides Calendar. Thank you for your continued Support!