The Danajon Bank Marine Project of CCEF conducted an MPA Monitoring Training in Tubigon, Bohol on August 8 to 10, 2012. Organized by CCEF with the partnership of the Local Government Unit of Tubigon, 35 community representatives coming from the different coastal and island barangays of the municipality received a short two and a half day orientation on basic coastal ecosystems, reef monitoring techniques, and ways to assess and document the status of their coral reefs using the MPA Management Effectiveness Tool (MPA MEAT). TheResearch and Monitoring Team (ReMoTe) of CCEF provided the needed technical expertise.
The first two days of the training was conducted inside the Municipal Agriculturist’s Office of Tubigon. All the particpants actively participated in the discussions that were led by the members of ReMoTe. On the morning of the last day of the training, the entire team took a short boat ride to Ubay Island to apply what they learned on field. Surprisingly, some of the participants were not strong swimmers so they had to devise ways and means to stay afloat and not drift far from the boat. Everyone realized that MPA monitoring is hard work but all of them were having fun during the field work. When it was time to estimate fish abundance, someone exclaimed “daghana’g pata oi, ma ugma-an pa jud ko ani” (there are so many damselfish, I think it would take until tomorrow to finish).
Presentation of results of the field work was done on the afternoon. The participants were divided into a fish team and a substrate team. They made tables and graphs showing the results of their observations. Despite the casual atmosphere of the exercise, the participants all agreed that they learned a lot during the short training.