Over 20 representatives from CNMI and Guam including resource managers, scientists and local community members met for two days in Garapan, Saipan to share knowledge about past, current and future marine research in the Marianas Archipelago. Several sessions were held with 3-4 talks per session on topics related to human dimensions, fisheries, transboundary species, mapping, benthic environment, latitudinal gradients. The sessions included both presentations and discussions.
Some of the highlights of the discussion included recommendations for:
• Increasing collaborations between NOAA Fisheries and local CNMI and Guam scientists, managers and fishermen for future research projects.
• Continuing and expanding life history biosampling program by analyzing the existing biosampling data and collaborating between Guam and CNMI to get a full picture of the Archipelago.
• Developing a one-stop shop for data and biological samples for Marianas Archipelago.
• Integrating geographic information on regional habitats, species distribution, human influences/usage of these resources (both nearshore and offshore) into maps and other information products.
• Applying science to create management solutions
Discussions on potential research projects were initiated. A full workshop report will be produced that describes these in detail. A few examples were:
• Studies on genetic connectivity of culturally and economically important species.
• Multi-species life history and tagging projects.
• Examining human dimensions through archaeological and archival work, especially related to current and historical human occupation of the islands.