Last month, Mr. John Swords was hired as a research assistant at Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).  Research assistants are key staff at the Center, helping researchers with all aspect of research work.  Mr. Swords duties, in additional to assisting researchers with different research areas at the Center, will also focus on data collection at fish markets, restaurants and hotels; fishermen interviews; and fisheries data entry at PICRC.


Mr. Swords is working closely with Ms. Lukes Isechal, a researcher at the Center, who focuses on fisheries research. The research at the fish market will require Mr. Swords to work very early in the mornings (6 am), late afternoons, and on weekends, because he needs to collect accurate data at the fish markets when fishermen arrive with their catch.

Mr. Swords graduated from Kapi’olani Community College at the University of Hawaii in 2010 where he received his Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. It is also where he met his charming wife, Treya Swords.  They moved back to Palau and operated a boat charter and tour company for three years prior to his current job. They have two children, Misa and Izabelle Swords.

John was raised by his parents Faith and Stephen Swords in Angaur State, where he attended elementary school. Growing up in an idyllic island life, he became passionate about fishing. During high school, he would go spearfishing every weekend with his friends. After graduating from Palau Mission Academy, he spent four years living as a fisherman before going to college. Like all fishermen, he has seen the decline in fish populations and understands how hard the fisherman’s life has become.

Given the ongoing decline of fisheries resources widely reported by Palauan fishermen, PICRC, in collaboration with local and regional partners, will collect extensive scientifically-sound baselines of Palau’s commercial reef fisheries; thereby providing a scientifically-sound foundation for improved local management planning that ensures food security, economic prosperity, and healthy ecosystems into the future. Mr. Swords’ education and unique background will be extremely valuable for PICRC’s fisheries data collection and analysis efforts.

For more information about PICRC’s Research, Education and Aquarium Department, visit or “Like” PICRC on Facebook. [/restrict]