IOC Sub-Commission

for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

WESTPAC Workshop on Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Biodiversity and Non-Indigenous Species in the Western Pacific Region (I), Bangkok, 20-21 September 2010

WESTPAC Workshop on Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Biodiversity and Non-Indigenous Species in the Western Pacific Region (I), Bangkok, 20-21 September 2010.

IOC/WESTPAC organized the workshop on Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Biodiversity and Non-Indigenous Species in the Western Pacific Region (I) ,September 20-21, 2010, in collaboration with the North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES). The workshop was funded by the Japan Funds-in-Trust with co-sponsorship of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (Thailand) and Chulalongkorn University.

It is estimated that everyday 7,000 marine and coastal species travel unnoticed across the world’s ocean in the ship’s ballast water tanks and on ship hulls. When released in a new environment, these unwanted hitchhikers can become invasive, outcompeting and changing native flora and fauna. However, due to the low capability of the region for identifying those species, the workshop aimed to provide a rapid assessment methodology to identify native, introduced, and cryptogenic species present as fouling communities at identified sites of great probability of containing non-indigenous species, such as port areas. Various presentations and rapid assessments technique were presented during the 2-day workshop. These topics included 1) current status of marine non-indigenous species in the WESTPAC region; 2) glossary related to marine non-indigenous species; 3) study sites in each country; and 4) rapid assessment survey technique of PICES WG-21. It was agreed by participants to deploy collector plates provided by PICES Working Group 21 (PICES WG-21) in designated areas for rapid assessment survey on marine biodiversity and non-indigenous species in each country. A total of 22 participants from 7 countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam attended the workshop.

In addition, the second workshop on Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Biodiversity and Non-Indigenous Species in the Western Pacific Region (II) is planned to be held in Thailand in December 2010. It aims to help member countries with identification of marine organisms collected from collector plates.

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