OneReef sees the opportunity to build a conservation network across Pohnpei’s states, leveraging local expertise and biological connectivity.
Pohnpei is a beautiful Micronesian high island that hosts diverse coral reefs, spawning grounds for grouper and other key species, and some of the highest rainfall levels in the region. There are marine protected areas (MPAs) within many of its municipalities that protect valuable mangroves, nearshore reefs, and fish nurseries. Ant Atoll, a OneReef site, is located 9 miles offshore.
Pohnpei’s MPAs are currently managed at a municipal level, so there is a huge potential to coordinate a larger state-wide enforcement network to protect its valuable marine areas with greater efficiency and cross-site training. There is an “economy of scale” at which it costs significantly less — and has a much greater impact — to have state-wide training sessions and shared resources across the following municipal programs:
- Pakin Atoll
OneReef is working closely with the local conservation non-profit organization, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, and local communities, to envision a large-scale effort — to bring high-quality enforcement experts to Pohnpei and increase the entire state’s capacity to prevent illegal fishing.
We are working with labs at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to identify key sites and management areas for baseline scientific studies. As we gain a better understanding of the reef biology and diversity, we can target our conservation programs to have the greatest biological impact across Pohnpei.
We have the groundwork and local partnerships to create enforcement trainings across sites — and are now working to secure the funding to bring internationally-regarded enforcement trainers, who have helped us with similar trainings in Palau, to Pohnpei.