Namdrik Atoll. Coral-Reef Resources Monitoring Assessment

Cover - Namdrik Atoll. Coral-Reef Resources Monitoring Assessment

The Namdrik Atoll is situated along the chain of atolls that comprises the western Marshall Islands, known as the Ralik Chain. The atoll consists of two islands, Namdrik (south part of the atoll) and Madmad (north).

Scientifically-sound, marine resource assessments form the backbone for resource management discussions and decisions. Similar to many atolls, it is not understood if fishery resources and coral-reef ecosystem conditions have been stable on Namdrik because no quantitative studies exist to describe their dynamics through time. Certainly expert fisher opinions can help fill in these knowledge gaps, however the opinions of the fishers can vary with their age and experience. For these reasons, the present efforts on Namdrik have included gathering the input and knowledge of the atoll residents, as well as detailed scientific descriptions of the current coral and fish populations. Together, these sources of information can provide the background needed for establishing (or maintaining) resource management.

Within this document, we provide a deeper look into the results of a recent marine resource assessment. We first develop a framework to understand the nature and status of Namdrik's marine resources in comparison to two other atolls where similar scientific data exists, Rongelap and Majuro. Using these two endpoints (i.e., high and low), we first describe the coral reef resources of Namdrik. We next build into a more detailed assessment of individual reefs around Namdrik, and describe the status of marine resources at the eight survey locations visited.

Houk, P., Benavente, D., McLean , M., Camacho, R., Capelle, J., Silk, M., White, M., Jacobson, D., Hess, D. (2013). Namdrik Atoll. Coral-Reef Resources Monitoring Assessment. University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Mangilao, Guam. Prepared for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Conservation Program. 23 p.