A new study released this month by researchers at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) shows Ngeruangel Marine Reserve as an effective conservation area with high fish abundance and biomass.
The PICRC research team was led by Marine Gouezo and include researchers E. Ikelau Otto, Randa Jonathan, Geory Mereb, Victor Nestor, Dawnette Olsudong, and Anna Parker.
Ngeruangel Marine Reserve, located in Kayangel State, is part of the Protected Areas Network (PAN) and has been protected since 1996.
PICRC researchers studied the status of fish, macro-invertebrates, juvenile corals, and benthic cover at both Ngeruangel Marine Reserve, as well as Kayangel atoll as a reference site for comparison. The fore reef and lagoon habitat were surveyed both inside and outside the reserve. The results show that Ngeruangel Reserve is effective at protecting fish such as emperors, snappers, parrotfish and rudderfish. The protection, however, does not appear to have an effect on macro-invertebrates such as clams and sea cucumbers.
As part of its efforts to support the States and the PAN Office in the management of the various PAN sites, every two years, PICRC researchers perform ecological monitoring at the PAN sites. The surveys assess how effective MPAs are at protecting marine resources. The results and recommendations from the studies are provided by PICRC to the States and the PAN Office.
The copy of the full report is available at the PICRC website and can be downloaded at (http://picrc.org/picrcpage/technicalreports/). You can also request copy by e-mail to Ines Kintoki at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PICRC library during regular working hours. (PR)