DFW highlights climate change scoping and program dev’t

The Division of Fish and Wildlife has been conducting several fisheries research programs that highlight climate change scoping and program development.

Project manager Francisco Villagomez noted that many programs with emphasis on fisheries are ongoing and an annotated bibliography of 28 peer-reviewed climate literature has been compiled and logged for reference.

“In line with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ directive, our team has been collecting data for fisheries management and climate change. We’ve previously met with members of the Marine Planning and Climate Change Committee in Hawaii and have made regional partners to develop sound solutions,” he said.

Torres earlier said that combating the effects of climate change is a priority within both the local and global community, with the Commonwealth and other Pacific Islands most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate changes and isolation.

“Our CNMI Resilience Working Group is a collaborative effort and with these ongoing research programs, we can definitely measure and see the widespread influence that climate change has on our food source, economy, and way of life,” Torres said.

Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Anthony Benavente explained that a monitoring program planned to include in-water monitoring of environmental data will assist in climate change scoping and data gathering.

“This data will help explain long-term climate changes. FRS staff will designate sites inside and outside of Saipan’s northern and southern lagoon for placement of temperature sensors and these will be placed [near] coral sites where there has been signs of high and low coral bleaching,” he said.

Benavente added that the environmental parameters of essential fish habitats such as sea grass beds and sand patches along Saipan’s coast between Oleai village and the Garapan Fishing Base will also be collected to detect shoreline variations.

For more details on the Climate Adaptation Directive, log on to gov.mp/2017/07/26/governor-torres-climate-adaptation-directive. (PR)

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