Friday, 28 July 2017

Training in threatened species identification and data gathering protocol

Yesterday, we hosted a training session on threatened species identification, field survey technique and data gathering protocol in the context the project “The development of a co-management plan, designed by fishers to minimise the impact of the Seychelles artisanal fishery on threatened species” also known as the Threatened species project.
Photo: Participants  at the training with the Green Islands Foundation team (MLeotta)

The objective of the Threatened species project is to reduce the Seychelles artisanal fishery’s impact (catch, by-catch and disturbance) on globally threatened species (IUCN classifications: VU, EN, CR).  The project is developing a baseline of threatened species occurrence in the artisanal fishery through fisher interviews and consultation, literature review and an intensive 12-month survey of artisanal catch. The project will support fishers in the identification and development of pragmatic management measures to reduce artisanal fishing pressure on threatened species - (e.g. catch release, only landing mature individuals, reduce effort on critical habitats, gear modification etc…).

Yesterday’s training was organized for collaborators, these are civil society members who assist Green Islands Foundation in collecting species-specific data on IUCN red listed threatened species and species of local concern. In addition, fisheries technicians from SFA were also invited to attend. Mr. John Nevill, Technical Fisheries Advisor on the project carried out the training. The participants given an introduction to the project, presented the species monitored under the project, the monitoring protocol and were shown some initial results from the first four months of data collection.
There are 20 threatened species of teleosts, sharks and rays that are known to occur in artisanal catch in Seychelles.  In addition, there are a number of species that were identified as of local concern at the start of the project also monitored trough this project.
Photo: Slideshow presentations on fish identification (MLeotta)

Through the presentations, Mr. Nevill showed participants how properly identify species and their distinctive characteristics. Participants were given each an Identification card showing all the threatened species monitored through the project that they can use on the field. They were also shown how to properly take measurements through practical sessions in the laboratory at the Seychelles Fishing Authority.  
Photo: Practical session ; how to record total lenght in sharks (MLeotta)

We expect through this training that the participants will be better equipped to collect species-specific data on the field to inform fisheries management decisions.   

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