Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and Mariana Archipelago Ecosystem Science Implementation Plan Workshop

July 8, 2013

NOAA Fisheries held a 2-day workshop in Garapan, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) in May 2013 to gain insight from local researchers and managers on marine research needs within the Mariana Archipelago. This information will be incorporated into a Mariana Archipelago marine research implementation plan for 2014-2019 and will reference the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument Ecosystem Science Plan currently under review.

Over 30 people representing a broad spectrum of organizations in Guam and CNMI, including resource managers, scientists and local community members attended. Following a series of presentations on topics related to social and cultural dimensions of the ecosystem, fisheries, trans-boundary species, mapping, benthic environment and latitudinal gradients, participants identified key research topics that could be implemented in the next 5 years.

Common themes identified by participants included the need to conduct broad scale studies of the life history and connectivity of marine biota in order to understand regional biodiversity; develop ways to conduct long-term monitoring; develop collaborative GIS mapping products that include habitat types, human uses, species distributions, and other data; and improve systems for storing and sharing information. For many topics, the fact that data for Islands Unit ecosystems (and northern islands) are limited or non-existent and the importance of collecting such data through research were highlighted. Overall, an emphasis was placed on collaborative research, building local capacity and using local knowledge particularly through engagement with fishermen. Participants noted the need to examine and incorporate under-utilized and volunteer data sources, and to ensure that data collected are analyzed and shared.

Presentation Summaries

PowerPoint presentations from the workshop are provided below (as PDF files).

DISCLAIMER: Presentations given at the workshop and provided in the following summary documents reflect the views of the presenter only; the presentations and related workshop discussions do not necessarily represent the opinions or positions of the Department of Commerce, NOAA, or NOAA Fisheries.