Collection stared

夜の海でナマコ686個体を収集

  • Collection stared

 2020年1月24日、TRCTのKenとJanice、メルール村のDavid、ミクロネシアカレッジのElijanとSalven CMが、メルール村沖に設けられたナマコの養殖場で、夜間のナメコ収集作業を行いました。これに、エコプラスの大前と後藤が同行しました。

 晴れて明るい夕方、船で現地に着いた私たちは、暗くなるのを待ちました。夜になると、それまで砂に潜っていたナマコが出てくるというのです。水深は1m前後、大人の胸ぐらいの深さです。約100m四方を網で仕切って養殖場が設置されていました。

 網の中に入って、頭を水の中に沈めます。私はジャニスとペアになって、水中ライトを持つ係となりました。海底を照らしても、なかなかナマコは見つかりません。細い葉を持った海藻が繁っていて、その根本にいるナマコはなかなか見つけられません。砂を巻き上げると視界が悪くなるので、そーっと歩き、静かに潜らないといけません。

 その中でジャニスは、次々にナマコを見つけていきます。びっくりする早さでした。後で聞いたところ、3年前にプロジェクトが始まった時には、彼女はこわくてナマコを触ることもできなかったそうです。

 4時間の作業で捕まえたナマコは、686匹にもなりました。数を数えたあと、ボートで移動しながら、ナマコを浅瀬の藻が生えた場所に放流しました。

 この作業は、養殖場のナマコを全て捕まえ、放流することで一区切りとなります。すべてのナマコを捕まえて放流し、仕切りの網を修理して次の養殖プロジェクトを始めるのだそうです。

 大変な作業でしたが、夜の海の上で見上げた星空は、とってもきれいでした。

(ECOPLUS/TRCT 現地ボランティアスタッフ 後藤はるか)

Collection stared

Sea Cucumber Collection in the Dark

On January 24, Ken, Janice of TRCT, David of Meerur village, Elijan and Salven of College of Micronesia, COM, conducted sea cucumber collection work in night time at the sea cucumber farm just out of the beach of the village. Jun and myself of ECOPLUS joined the operation.

It was very clear evening. We waited until it was getting dark on the boat, since sea cucumbers would come out from the sand in the darkness.
The depth of the water was about chest level. the farm area was like 100 meters square, and was separated by net from outside.

Inside of the net, we put our head into the water. Janice and I made a pair, and I helped her carrying a flash light. With flashlight we tried to find sea cucumbers. It was difficult to identify sea cucumbers inside of dense long sea weed leaves. We also needed to walk and dive gently not to disturb water and sands to keep the visibility.

I surprised how fast Janice was to find and catch sea cucumbers. However, later, she said that she could not touch a sea cucumber when the project started three years ago.

Through out four hours in the ocean, we collected 686 sea cucumbers. After counting numbers, we released those into open water area.

This was the final work of the sea cucumber farming project. After releasing all grown sea cucumbers from the farm, the net wall will be reported and another farming project will be started.

It was really tough work. But we observed see so many stars over the ocean.

Reported by GOTO Haruka, a volunteer staff of ECOPLUS/TRCT, a student of WASEDA University, Tokyo

Rain Water System completed at Tamil Elementary School

Rain Water Harvesting, RWH, system under Readiness for El Niño, RENI, project held by The Pacific Community, SPC, at Tamil community was completed and the training session was held on Jan 28, 2020.

As a part of RENi, supported by European Union, the tanks were set in November 2019 at Tamil Elementary School and since then the experimental operation of the system has been conducted until now. Specialists from Fiji checked the status of the system this time and also conducted the training session toward the community members.

On Tuesday, school teachers, coordinators of Tamil Resources Conservation Trust, TRCT, and other community members joined the specialists and Mr. Sean Gaarad, the country coordinator for SPC as well as the president of TRCT, at the cafeteria of the school and learnt the mechanism of and ways to maintain the system.

Rain over the roof is gathered through gutter and objects, like leaves, are removed through meshed funnel called “leaf eater” then water is filtered by sand. After the purification, water is stored in four tanks which can hold 1,500 litters in each. The full amount of water will support community members providing 3 littles of clean water for each for up to three weeks.

In the Pacific region, a serious El Niño was recorded in 2016 and raise serious droughts in several islands for up to 11 months. In Yap, no rain was recorded for months in the year and in Tamil serious wild fires burnt almost 1 kilometer square area.

EU set the project RENi from 2017-2020, providing 4 million Euro to set water tanks for the emergency in several island communities through SPC.

Reported by GOTO Haruka, a volunteer staff of ECOPLUS/TRCT, a student of WASEDA University, Tokyo

Related story on the installation of the system at Kapingamarangi atoll in Pohnpei state, FSM

干ばつ対策の雨水タンクが完成

タミル小学校で保守の研修を実施

 近年連続している極端な干ばつによる水不足に対応するための雨水タンクが、タミル小学校に設置され、2020年1月28日にその保守作業の研修が行われました。

 欧州連合(EU)が2020年までの3年計画で400万ユーロ(約5億円)を投じ、太平洋諸国が設立した国際機関The Pacific Community、略称SPCが実施主体となって、島々にタンクを設置する事業の一環。タミル地区のタンクは、昨年11月に設置され、試験運用が始まっていました。今回は、専門家が現地を訪れ、危機が正常に動いているのを確認すると同時に、地元で保守が出来るよう研修を行いました。

 この日、小学校の教師3人のほか、SPCのミクロネシア担当であるショーン・ガアラッドさん(TRCTの会長でもあります)、TRCTのコーディネータ3人、地元住民2人などが集まり、技術者からタンクの仕組みを教わりました。

 水は、小学校のカフェテリアの屋根から、といを伝って集められ、木の葉っぱなどを取り除く網を通った後、大きさの違う砂などを通ってろ過され、1本1,500リットルが入るタンク4本に蓄えられます。

 このタンクで地元民が毎日最低3リットルの飲料水を使いながら3週間以上生存できるように設計されています。

 太平洋諸国では2016年に大規模なエルニーニョ現象が起きたのをきっかけに、地域によっては11カ月雨が降らないという干ばつに襲われました。ヤップ島でもこの年の2月から5月までカラカラ天気が続き、タミル地区では大規模な山火事まで発生。約1キロメートル四方が黒焦げになるという事態も起きています。

 エルニーニョ現象では、太平洋の赤道東部の海水温が高くなり、ヤップ島を含む西側で干ばつが起きるとされています。このため、EUがエルニーニョ対策プロジェクト(Readiness for El Niño, RENI)を始めたのでした。

(現地ボランティアスタッフ 後藤はるか)

RENiプロジェクトでのカピンガマリンガ環礁でのタンク設置の様子(英語)

ナマコ730個体を計測し、自然界に放流

 1月20、21日、TRCTは、College of Micronesia(COM)のCooperative Research & Extention(CRE)と共同で、これまで養殖をしてきたナマコの計測作業をサポートしました。
 3年前から、COM-CREとTRCTはタミル地区西方のメルール村の沖合いに養殖場を設置し、Sand fish(学名:Holothuria scarba)という種類のナマコを養殖してきました。養殖の初期は小さな受精卵でしたが、今では20cm前後の個体もあるほど見事に成長しました。

 2日間の作業で、730のナマコが計測のために浅瀬の養殖場から村のメンズハウスに持ち込まれました。すべてのナマコの体長と体重の計測後、村の沖の藻が生えている浅い海へ放されました。

 この調査の目的は、ナマコの成長速度を確認することです。本来ナマコはヤップの海にはたくさんいたのですが、中国への輸出を目的とする乱獲によって、絶滅寸前まで追い込まれました。
 この状況を改善することを視野に、この養殖プロジェクトはCOM-CREとサポーターのTRCTによって始まりました。

 COM-CREの専門家によると、ナマコは「海の掃除屋」と呼ばれるそうです。ナマコは陸から流れ込んできた堆積物を食べ、フィルターのように排出します。ナマコは海を健康に保つために重要な役割を果たします。十分な数のナマコがいなければ、海水が濁り、日光が届かないために暗くなります。そうなると、サンゴが育つことができません。健康なサンゴは魚や他の海の生きもののより良い生息地となるのです。

(現地ボランティアスタッフ・後藤はるか)

Over 700 Farmed Sea Cucumbers Measured and Released

On Jan 20 and 21, TRCT members supported measuring operation of sea cucumbers by Cooperative Research & Extension (CRE) of College of Micronesia (COM).

Off the beach of Meerur village, COM-CRE and TRCT set a farming area and many cucumbers, called Sandfish, or “Holothuria scabra,” were farmed in past three years. At the beginning of the faming, those were just tiny fertilized eggs, now they grew big up to 8-inch or 20-cm long.

Through the operation in two days, over 700 cucumbers were collected from the shallow farming area and were brought back to the men’s house of the village for the measurement. After checking the size and weight of all, they were released to the open water.

The aim of the research is to identify the growth rate of the sea cucumber. Originally the sea cucumbers were very common in Yap water, however over catch of those intended to ship to China made those almost extinct in the ocean.

In 2017, the project started by COM-CRE with TRCT as a partner. Sea cucumbers are called as an “ocean cleaner,” according to specialists at COM-CRE. They eat sedimentation, and discharge sand, like a sand filter. Sea cucumbers play an important role to keep the ocean healthy. Without healthy number of sea cucumbers, the ocean would be dirty and dark, and coral could not grow. Healthy corals support healthier habitat of fishes and other sea creatures.

(Reported by GOTO Haruka, student of Waseda University)

Clams are released from farming area

On Saturday, 19 October, 2019, TRCT conducted clam distribution operation with 12 children with the support of Tamil Youth Organization, TYO, and Yap Community Action Program, YapCAP, releasing 92 giant clams which were raised in farming beds for three years.

In advance to the operation, TRCT distributed 63 clams on October 7, and 92 clams on 8. In total 174 clams were released into the Marine Protected Area in the lagoon of Tamil municipality. Now we have 225 clams in farming cases.

In old days, lagoon of Yap was fully covered by giant clams, according to old persons. TRCT is now trying to recover the number of clams. From baby status with the size of thumbnail, clams grow to bigger than 220 millimeter width and it is now maturing stage. With less risk to be bitten by predicators like puffin fish, TRCT decided to release those to wide spread protected area for natural hatching process.

Village Walk and Community Dialogue

On October 5, 2019, Jeff Marbey, vice chair person of TRCT, Mr. KAWAGUCHI Daisuke, human resource specialist and OHMAE Junichi, board member of ECOPLUS, conducted trial village walk and mapping activity in Teb village of Tamil.

The activity was intended to re-identify resources and assets of the place for sustainable future. Through the walk, Jeff, originally from the village, identify different plants, historical sites, traditional stories and life in old days. During the walk a huge lizard with more than 1 meter long appeared just in front of us.

Along the coast side, Jeff told the story about sea level rise. Taro patches next to the coastal road was having salty water coming through high tide. Because of the salty water, those places became to be abandoned. When we stepped into mountain side through the old stone path, several remains of stone platform, or “daef,” where people were setting their houses were identified. A huge tall tree called “QAW” was also identified. Jeff told that fruit-bats liked the fruit of the tree.

For just a couple of hundred meters walk, we joyfully enjoyed exploration for more than one hour. For Mr. KAWAGUCHI, it was the second visit to this island, and he told that it was quite exciting to walk the place with local people.

After coming back from the walk, other staff at TRCT joined in the dialogue. Specially on the issue of fruit-bats, Jeff and Ken told the place of their nests in the area. They also mentioned about the habitat of the animal and how people of Yap had been hunting those in with ways. We all agreed to have such walk and dialogue would visualize what the area was having in the relation with the nature and human and it would show the potential of the area in this modernized society.

Awardees expressed their message from the stage

UN Equators Prize Awarded to TRCT

United Nations’ “Equators Prize” was given to TRCT on September 24, 2019, in New York during its general assembly. The prize is given to communities in tropic area to promote their efforts to conserve and to use biodiversity sustainably in every two years.

This year TRCT was chosen with other 21 communities. TRCT is very honored for this award and recognizes that the award is for all the community members and many related bodies including The Nature Conservation, BMUB, North Pacific Development Fund,US Forestry Service, Micronesia Conservation Trust, Risona Foundation, JICA, ECOPLUS, YapCAP, Yap State EPA, R&D, Marine Resources, Agriculture and others.

The awarding ceremony was held at Town Hall of central New York in the evening of September 24. The representatives from TRCT, Mr. Vitus Faneg and Ms. Wenifred Faimau were attended on the stage with other winners with local attire. They were introduced to the audience including leaders from different countries.

In advance of the ceremony, UNDP organized several workshops to connect each awardees. Not only the two representatives, but also Mr. and Mrs. Fetan of Tamil were joined in the workshops at their expense.

シャコガイのクリーニング

 タミル地区の禁漁区(No-Take-Zone)内にあるシャコガイ養殖場にて、シャコガイの清掃活動が行われました。前回は4月7日に行われましたため、約1カ月ぶりの実施となりました。

 参加者は、Tamil地区の若者ら5人に加え、Janiceと千場の計7人。

 畳1枚ほどの大きさの浅い箱形のいれものが、金属の網で覆われています。貝の成長にあわせて新しくしたゲージの方のシャコガイに多くの藻が張り付いているのが観察されました。

 死んだシャコガイは見つからず、清掃活動後、シャコガイを撮影した写真を基に数を数えたところ、新旧ゲージ合計で399個のシャコガイが確認されました。

 今回の清掃活動では、シャコガイそれぞれが大きくなってきたため(幅6インチ=15センチ=を超えるものも出てきました)、応急措置として、中で区分けしている仕切りを取り外し、成長できるスペースを確保しました。また、シャコガイを1つ1つ取り出しては磨いて戻す作業を繰り返し、簡単に数えられるように綺麗に整列させました。

 全てのシャコガイが元の白色に戻り、綺麗に整えられましたが、2時間30分近くかかり、終了後は、皆、かなり疲れた様子でした