Phuket, Thailand — IOC/WESTPAC and PICES (the North Pacific Marine Science Organization) organized a joint workshop on on Rapid Assessment Survey Methodologies for Detecting Marine Non-Indigenous Species at Phuket Marine Biological Center, Thailand during July 19-21, 2011. The objectives of the workshop were 1) provide a contextual perspective on why monitoring for non-indigenous species is important; 2) educate participants in Rapid Assessment Survey (RAS) methodologies and demonstrate their application; and 3) provide participants of an overview of the PICES WG-21 database and show how all can benefit from the application.
Initial efforts have been made by IOC/WESTPAC since 2008, through his project entitled “Coastal Marine Biodiversity and Conservation”, to establish research network, identify the regional status and raise the public awareness of marine non-indigenous species. Although IOC/WESTPAC has published the “Current Status on Maine Non-indigenous Species in the Western Pacific” based on the preliminary study of member states, it is evident that not many marine non-indigenous species have been scientifically identified in the Western Pacific region, particular in the Southeast Asia region mainly due to the lack of efficient surveys and identification methods. Thus, this workshop were able to full fill this gap.
A total of 29 participants from 9 countries: Canada, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam attended the workshop. The workshop were conducted in three full days with lectures and field studies covering efforts and practices of IOC/WESTPAC and PICES, introduction to rapid assessment surveys, dock scrapings, rocky shore and sandy beach assessment, and laboratory identifications.
For more information, please contact Project Leader, Dr. Suchana Chavanich at Suchana.C@chula.ac.th.