2014 has started off with multiple outreach opportunities to showcase the PIFSC Commercial Fisheries Biosampling Project (CFBS) to various communities around Guam. So far, there have been two school presentations, and 2 community events that Eric Cruz, Guam Field Office Liaison, has been involved in.
The first school event was the George Washington High School annual career day held on January 24, 2014. Eric Cruz was invited to speak to the students about working for NOAA Fisheries and to talk about the type of work that he is involved in. He spoke mainly about the CFBS, but also focused on some of the other PIFSC projects that are ongoing around Guam, including the Cetacean Research Program’s surveys, and the work the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette will be performing during the summer months. Other career fields represented at the career day included the 3 branches of the armed services, environmental scientists, photographers, accountants, lawyers, and pilots.
The next school presentation was on March 13th, 2014. With the month of March being designated as Chamorro Month, the Chamorro language teachers at the Wettengal Elementary School requested that Cruz speak with the students about the work he does and how it deals with the Chamorro culture. As a culture that relies heavily on fishing for sustenance, effectively managing the sizes of fish caught will help to ensure that there will be fish in the future and we can continue some of our rich cultural traditions. Cruz did a total of 5 presentations to an excited and interested group of kids in grades 1-5.
The CFBS also had informational booths set up at the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council’s (Council) Lunar Calendar Festival and the University of Guam’s Charter Day Festival. On January 26, 2014 the Council hosted their 6th Annual Lunar Calendar Festival. At this event, the Council released their Lunar Calendar, which shows the tide heights, and when the different moon phases occur. As always, the Guam Fishermen’s Coop hosted the event. The event was filled with various cultural performance, arts, crafts, and food vendors, and marine related educational booths. On March 11, 2014 the University of Guam hosted their annual Charter Day Festival. Cruz was invited by the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and joined booths with the Council. At both events, Cruz discussed the CFBS and other NOAA PIFSC projects occurring in the Mariana Islands with interested participants of the festivals.