Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Underwater visual census (UVC) training in Federated States of Micronesia

uvc_training_lecturesEight fisheries and marine resource field and conservation officers from Pohnpei, Yap and Chuuk states in the Federated States of Micronesia spent a week (23–28 August) learning underwater visual census (UVC) methodologies to survey finfish populations. The training focused on species identification and size estimation of fish, identification of bottom substrates and coral types and how to fill in the different survey forms correctly.



Alternating between diving and classroom sessions, Being M. Yeeting, SPC Fisheries Scientist for Finfish, took the trainees through exercises focussing on size estimation using fish models, reef walking along a transect line to identify corals and bottom substrate types, and correctly recording these data on the survey forms.


The training was part of the SciCOFish (Scientific Support for the Management of Coastal and Oceanic Fisheries in the Pacific Islands Region) project’s capacity building component. Based on SPC’s joint country strategies (JCSs), the European Union-funded SciCOFish project has begun identifying priority needs of countries in relation to sustainable use and management of coastal fisheries resources. The FSM training was therefore based on FSM’s JCS, which requested technical assistance for training on finfish surveys.


After a number of underwater survey practices, the trainees attended a final classroom session on how to enter, clean and analyse UVC survey data using the SPC Reef Fisheries Integrated Database (RFID). After demonstrating and explaining the various steps involved in creating a survey and collecting, processing and analyzing data, each group was asked to enter all their practice survey data, run the analyses using the queries and interpret the results.


This UVC training, undertaken with the help of the Pohnpei State Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture and SPC’s North Pacific Regional Office in Pohnpei, was a success and was very well received. The participants found the training very useful and practical; they appreciated the opportunity that it provided to work – for the first time – with survey data that they had collected.


This capacity building will continue, with one of the officers coming to SPC in Noumea on a short-term attachment for training on the entire process: data analysis, data interpretation, and calculation of stock estimates and sustainable harvests.






For more information, please contact Being Yeeting, Fisheries Scientist (finfish)

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2011 16:13