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PICRC envisions: People empowered with science and knowledge for effective marine conservation and management. The Mission of PICRC is: To guide efforts in coral reef stewardship through research and its applications for the people of Palau, Micronesia, and the world.

PICRC and JICA sign project documents to officially launch a 3-year coastal management project

On August 18, 2021, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) joined by partners from Palau Community College (PCC) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment (MAFE), signed project documents for a three-year project on coastal zone management.

The project is titled, “Project for Enhancement of Integrated Management of Coastal Ecosystem in Palau for Strengthening their Resilience to Climate Change”. The project implementing partners include the Cooperative Research and Extension of PCC, Bureau of Agriculture of MAFE and the Environmental Quality Protection Board. Ms. Geraldine Rengiil, Director of the Research Department at PICRC, will serve as the project manager.
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Recent scientific publication by PICRC explains larval self-recruitment and connectivity among fish populations in Micronesia

Area covered by the study

The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) just published an important scientific article in the peer-reviewed journal “Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science” entitled “Oceanographic chaos and its role in larval self-recruitment and connectivity among fish populations in Micronesia”. This study discusses the recruitment of rabbitfish in Guam, groupers in Palau, and the connectivity of groupers within Micronesia (i.e. which islands provide fish larvae to other islands). The study was a collaborative effort among Dr. Eric Wolanski, Professor at James Cook University in Australia, Dr. Robert H. Richmond, Research Professor and Director at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s Kewalo Marine Lab and Dr. Yimnang Golbuu, CEO of PICRC.  The three authors of the study have collaborated on a variety of research projects in Micronesia for the last 21 years. read more

Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish and Wildlife Protection and PICRC conducts joint enforcement surveillance and eDNA Research in the PNMS

(L-R): PICRC Research Assistant McQuinnley Mesengei, Researcher Ikelau Otto, COS Staff Scientist Dr. Collin Closek, Dr. Natalie Arnoldi, PSS Remeliik II Captain Allison Baiei, PICRC Research/Science Officer Dr.Louw Claassens.

The first joint surveillance and research expedition to the Palau National Marine Sanctuary is underway with the Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection, Palau International Coral Reef Center and Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions (COS). The expedition will run from August 9 to August 13 and will samples water in the PNMS for environmental DNA (eDNA).

While it is difficult to conduct surveys of marine animals in the PNMS, eDNA offers an easier way to survey marine animals in the PNMS. Animals in the water shed their DNA into the water. By studying the waters containing the DNA, we can determine what animals are there living in the water. The eDNA project will allow faster, cheaper and more sensitive approaches for collecting biological baselines and measuring how shifts in biodiversity composition occur over time.
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Coral Reef Rehabilitation Project deploys 240 corals near Ngerchong Island

Since 2018, the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) has been partnering with the Koror State Government (KSG) and Palau Visitors Authority (PVA) on a coral rehabilitation project.

On June 15 and 16, PICRC Aquarist, McGee Mereb and Eveline van der Steeg, a Ph.D. candidate from the CoralAsssist Lab from Newcastle University, joined the Koror State Rangers to plant corals at Ngerchong Inside. They outplanted 240 substrates with coral recruits, in hopes to increase coral cover at the site. Ngerchong Inside was selected as the pilot site as the coral reef was severely damaged during super typhoon Bopha in 2012. A baseline survey conducted in December 2018, found a coral cover of 10% and 44% bare substrate. A high density of coral recruits indicated the reef had started to recover; however, this is a slow process and can take decades. The site was visited just before the outplant. The coral reef has recovered drastically since the baseline survey in 2018 and the coral cover has increased visibly. We are very excited to observe this natural increase of coral cover at a typhoon damaged site. For the coral outplant, a shallow area with less coral cover was chosen. read more