Coral and fish monitoring in the State of Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (KCSO)
Type Period Note:
"In 2011, the Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization was awarded an amount of $18,648.00 to support Kosraes coral reef monitoring program. The coral reef monitoring program is a collaborative effort among the Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization, Department of Resources and Economic Affairs and Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority dedicated to understanding general health, diversity and size class distributions of fish, invertebrates and corals within the Kosraes reef. Monitoring protocols developed with the help of Dr. Peter Houk from the Pacific Marine Resources Institute have been incorporated to collect data in areas deemed of priority significance throughout the Kosraes reef. The original intent of the program was to monitor and assess changes in coral covers over time as well as health and population of corals and fish in all five established monitoring sites in Kosrae. Due to lack of staffing and technical expertise in data management and analysis, a more realistic number of 4 priority sites were established. The goal of adding sites as staffing and experience improved in subsequent years. The actual data collection has been completed for 2011, giving us five years- worth data for the four monitoring sites. Discussions and meetings with Kosrae Department of Resources and Economic Affairs, Kosrae Island Resource Management Authority, Pacific Marine Resource Institute, Palau International Coral Reef Center and input from key community members, a list of monitoring sites were identified to be closely monitored. The monitoring of these sites provided an adequate picture of what is happening on specific reefs throughout the Kosraes reef. Thus, we can make informed decisions based on this information. These sites have been chosen based upon the following criteria: a) Status as an Area of Biodiversity Significance (ABS site) b) Whether or not they are a potential MPA/LMMA site c) Areas with local significance as important fishing grounds d) Areas of significance as threatened areas (ie reef near development site, overfishing, etc.) e) Areas of special environmental significance as spawning aggregations or areas with unique habitat characteristics f) Recommended site for protection based on Rapid Ecological Assessment in 2006 The Kosrae monitoring program also is also associated with regional endeavors such as the Micronesian Challenge and adds local support for implementation of the FSM National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP). The Micronesian Challenge motivated us to put more emphasis on data management, sharing and analysis at the regional level. A critical step was taken during the 2nd Micronesian Challenge Measures Meeting, wherein methodologies and indicators for measuring the effective management? of our marine resources, were agreed upon, providing a framework through which data across the region can be compared and analyzed as a whole. As a result, the Micronesian Challenge Database was created to allow local monitoring programs to utilize the MC database to house their data. Once data are inputed into the database, people with more professional experience in data analysis could analyze the data more thoroughly and provide us the answers we seek on the ground. In February of 2012, the Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization represented the state of Kosrae participated in a workshop to familiarize ourselves with this process."
FY2011 CRCP Project ID 20682; Project Title: I096 International Coral Reef Conservation Grant Programs; Principal Investigator: Scot Frew. International grant NA11NOS4820011