[Coral-List] Coral studies and conservation in the Marshall Islands

Silvia Pinca milviapin at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 13 17:44:40 EDT 2007

Dear listers,
  a short clarification about a previous note from a different lister.
  Studies of coral reef status in the Marshall Islands have been going on regularly between 2001 and present, on an yearly basis, and conducted by NRAS (Natural Resources Assessment Surveys), an ngo created in the country by College of the Marshall Islands Marine Science teachers, students as well as volunteers specialists from other countries. 
  NRAS  has been doing the fund raise to attract sponsors for such activities, as well as leading the researches and coordinating the conservation efforts through education, awareness and capacity building, in tight cooperation with the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority (MIRMA) and the college. 
  Eight atolls have been systematically surveyed, relative reports on each one of these researches written and distributed and plans done with local communities. The reports issue recommendations for management and conservation, as well for alternative livelihood activities, including coral farming.  In constant collaboration with local communities, local governments of individual atolls and MIMRA, NRAS has helped making plans for establishment of conservation (no take) areas. Conservation sites are selected on the basis of NRAS underwater assessments as well as local knowledge, taking serious consideration of preference of the local communities. These studies are a key part of what is called the "Community Based Fisheries Management Plans" for the entire country. 
  Single atolls are requesting the ecological studies to be made to help defining the management plans. More surveys will be done in summer 2007. 
  As part of the same surveys, NRAS has coordinated studies of biodiversity of both fish and Scleratinia in several atolls with the cooperation of the Museum  of Tropical Queensland, the James Cook University, the University of Queensland and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  Information about such studies and conservation planning can be found at www.nras-conservation.org and inquires directed to Dr. Silvia Pinca, Maria Beger or Don Hess.
  Thank you, 

Silvia Pinca, Ph.D. 
  Senior Fishery Scientist
  Marine Resources Division
  Secretariat of the Pacific Communities
  BP D5, 98848 Noumea Cedex, 
  New Caledonia
  silviap at spc.int
  +687-265 475
NRAS - Marshall Islands 
Nature Resources Assessment Surveys 
Research and Education for Conservation 
spinca at nras-conservation.org 

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