TEAMWORK IS KEY. The participants were divided into groups during fieldwork and data processing where each member is given a task to either lay the rope transect, identify the lifeform, write the data, or reel the rope. Supplied photo.
Report by Maria Jordana A Olano, MSC
The McKeough Marine Center of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan recently conducted Community Coastal Resource Monitoring Training (CCRMT) at the XU Marine Station in Solana, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental.
This training formed part of the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) component of the project “Coastal Resource Assessment and Marine Debris Audit” also dubbed as CoReMar funded by Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc.
The IEC was designed to train 12 dedicated “bantay dagat” or fisherfolk members from barangays Bayabas and Gusa of Cagayan de Oro City to monitor the health of their own coral reefs by generating data using the Coral Point Intercept Assessment Method. This method involves laying a 50-meter nylon rope parallel to the shoreline where coral lifeforms will be identified at every five-meter interval.
During the first day, the fisherfolks were given a series of lectures on coral reef biology and ecology to further understand the role of reefs and seagrass beds in the ecosystem focusing on coral reef lifeform identification. A series of exams were given to ensure mastery of the subject matter.
On the second day of training, the participants surveyed a 300m-long coastline during Coral Reef Assessment Field Work in Jasaan and Barangay Bayabas Marine Protected Area. They identified 66 coral lifeforms from chosen points along the reefs of Jasaan where they then proceeded to calculate for the coral reef percentage cover and understanding the implications of the data that were generated.
On the third and final day, the participants proceeded to the eight-hectare Marine Protected Area of Barangay Bayabas and established 400-meter permanent assessment transects. It was proposed by the barangay that their coral reef monitoring would be quarterly.∎
SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE. The fisherfolks of Brgy Bayabas read the provided module on coral reef lifeform identification. Supplied photo.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS. Facilitator and research assistant Sweetzel Neri discusses the results of the data collected by the fisherfolks. Supplied photo.
GATHERING OF LOCAL LEADERS. A final gathering was held at the Barangay Bayabas office where each of the three groups presented their findings after the assessment was done on the Bayabas MPA. Supplied photo.