ASCOT – AMRDI Training and Expedition on Marine Macrobenthic Flora

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ASCOT-AMRDI Seaweed Assessment Training

Ice cream. Gelatin. Soap.Toothpaste. Herbal medicine. For decades, seaweeds have been utilized for its commercial importance. Aside from the edible seaweeds such as Arusip or Lato and Pansit-pansitan, some seaweed species are even cultured and harvested for commercial use.

But aside from its socio-economic importance, seaweed community plays a very important role in marine biodiversity. Together with seagrasses, this marine benthic macrophyte community serves as spawning ground for various fish species and of course food for marine herbivores.

This validates the reason why protecting and enhancing this marine resource is very essential.

Last May 14 – 23, 2013, AMRDI staff along with five ASCOT BS Forestry practicumers actively participated in a training on seaweeds assessment

The ten day – training entitled Introductory training Course on Methods on Seaweed Biodiversity Studies was a part of the capability building of AMRDI research staffs which was handled by UP Marine Science Institute Professor and Philippine Seaweeds co-author, Dr. Edna T. Ganzon-Fortes.

The training included a series of lectures from the use of line transect-quadrat method for assessment of seagrass-seaweed community, to database management using the InMagic software and Herbarium preparation and maintenance.

Also a part of the training was to assess the Seaweed and Seagrass community and Mangroves of Sitio Cemento in Brgy. Zabali, Baler. A transect line which stretched up to 330 meters was laid in the intertidal zone of the site. The participants assessed the marine macrophytes applying what they have learned from the training. the results also provided a baseline data of the marine benthic macrophyte status in Sitio Cemento.

The Casiguran Expedition

Four days after the training, from May 27 to June 1, 2013, the research staffs together with AMRDI Executive Director Miguel D. Fortes and acting Project Management Officer Eutiquio L. Rotaquio Jr. set off for an expedition in Casiguran to assess the Marine Macrobenthic Flora (Seaweeds, Seagrass and Mangroves) of the area.

From hours of boat rides and rough roads the AMRDI staff, again, was joined by ASCOT Forestry students as they assessed the coastline of five Barangays (Tinib, Dibacong, Esteves, Cozo and San Ildefonso).

(KTOLIVAR)