Samaná Bay, July 11-16, 2016
In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and El Centro para la Conservación y Ecodesarrollo de la Bahía de Samaná y su Entorno (CEBSE), AGRRA scientists Dr. Judy Lang and database manager Ken Marks conduced a training workshop in Samaná Bay, Dominican Republic on the AGRRA methodology, including the benthos and fish protocol and the online data-entry tool.
This training was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development and its Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Program which is part of its activities in the Caribbean.
The workshop included classroom sessions at the La Tambora Beach Resort in Los Cacaos, and in-water training consisting of SCUBA dives in the area of La Farola and Cayo Levantado near Samaná and an offshore shoal in the middle of Samaná Bay.
The seven trainees included representatives from Centro de investigación de Biología Marina, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (CIBIMA, UASD); UASD and CEBSE with the group split between benthos and fish training. The training was very well received and was considered instrumental in assisting with capacity building in that area.
In addition to receiving training on the AGRRA protocol, the group also participated in discussions on resource management. They concluded that due to the fishing pressures on holothurians (sea cucumbers), these organisms should be added to the list of exploited motile invertebrates counted in the benthic belt transects. They also prepared a list of recommendations for fish and coral reserves, co-management opportunities, and for greater networking among the governmental, non-governmental, fishing and diving groups that are active in the bay.
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