23 September 2009 | Kavieng
Friday, September 11th, 2009
Cleo & Alison did 1 Reef Check. Chris was working with immigration to extend our visas. We received a receipt for our application but nothing in the passports. We were assured that it was all legal and that we would not compromise any future visa applications or get in trouble with other officials.
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
Chris went to town again to work on more OceansWatch emails and to meet with John Aini. Chris was encouraged to learn from their discussions that OceansWatch is working with communities in ways that met John's expectations. It's good to receive positive reinforcement from a local guy with his credentials. They also talked about potential "micro" aquaculture in MPA waters. Specifically for Fisheries to start breeding programs for species such as Trochus, BDM, bath sponges or green snail which would be seeded into an MPA site and left undisturbed to breed for a couple of years before a controlled harvest. Chris also discussed this idea with Paul Southgate, professor of Aquaculture at James Cook University and Hugh Walton.
Cleo and Alison did a legendary four Reef Checks around Nago island with our friend Keithson. We are training Keithson to assist John Aini in the future. He will be with us for the rest of our time in New Ireland learning as much as he can from us about reef ecology, diving and Reef Check.
Gardner tried to fix John's computer. He had a virus that jumped to our usb drive.
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Gardner went ashore to get water and work at John Aini's office where he diagnosed a dead motherboard and fixed various computer issues. Alison and Cleo did one Reef Check survey. Chris had a meeting with Hugh Walton, Director of the Institute of Sustainable Marine Resources, and also our contact in Kavieng so it is fortuitous that he has been appointed to the position. They started scoping an MOU and OceansWatch plans for this year in the Kavieng area. What we'd like to do in the future is offer an Internship for a student from the University of Natural Resources to work with us in the district.
Met Keithson, who is studying fisheries resource management and is a reef owner from Mousau in the St Mathias islands. Keithson has graciously been organizing our visit to St Mathias so that the community expects us when we arrive and we can hit the ground, or water, running.
Chris started talking to a woman at the bank who turned out to be Rachel James' Mother, Garyanne. Rachel is a Kavieng woman who is just about to finish her Masters in marine biology in Germany. Chris and Rachel have been talking for a couple of years now about the marine environment in New Ireland and will, no doubt work together in the future.
Cleo and Alison did repeat Reef Check surveys near Kavieng.
The oil filter on our diesel inboard is still stuck on, much to Chris and Gardner's annoyance!