Our Approach

  • We are a team of community members and scientists working together in an attempt to understand the nature of fish and reef declines (including changes in fishing practices), historical context, and the role that traditions – and the loss of them – may play.
  • We understand that the critical link between traditional knowledge and environmental sustainability is the key to effective ocean management.
  • We conduct extensive ecological surveys of the reefs to better understand the effects that fishing and other anthropogenic impacts are having, and we share what we find with the communities.
  • We discuss specific findings, such as the link between parrotfish declines, night spearfishing, and algal overgrowth on reefs and how traditional management could address this.
  • We are encouraging a reconnection to traditional ways without ignoring modern influences like motor boats (rather than abandoning them which is not practical) as a method to address problems in resource abundance and reef health.
  • We are implementing a unique approach to advance adaptive management and conservation in Micronesian outer islands.
  • The program is managed and directed by the community.  Community members are trained to continue collecting data, and the science team remains as an advisory body and helps to analyze data and provide guidance.