Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society
Coral reefs and seagrass meadows are critical habitats for maintaining fish populations that support sustainable livelihoods and economy. While the human activities and climate change have been escalating, our conservation efforts have been constrained by limited knowledge about their impacts on marine biodiversity. Comprehensive baseline information about species diversity, richness, distribution and their migration patterns is essential to develop conservation measures and secure those measures will be effective. However, conventional methods for monitoring marine biodiversity are difficult to scale up to cover the entire coastline of countries.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently attracted considerable attention for its potential in measuring marine biodiversity, due to its cost effectiveness and without the need to extract organisms from their environment.
Despite some limitations of eDNA protocols, such as inadequate regional fish barcode data, limited sampling efficiency and laboratory protocols, the eDNA-based fish monitoring has been gradually applied in different marine ecosystems, with significant improvement made in the last few years.
As an initial effort, The IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) in partnership with the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Institute (Thailand), and the Nanjing University (China),will organize a training workshop at the Phuket Marine Biological Center, Thailand to introduce how the eDNA method could be used for researching and monitoring fish communities in coastal habitats.
3. Contents of the training workshop
This technical training will consist of theory lectures, practical demonstration, and professional on-site sample collection, including:
4. Expected outputs
The training workshop will take place at the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), Phuket Thailand.
PMBC will provide relevant meeting and lab facilities for the training workshop, such as a lecture room, labs with essential equipment for primary preparation and preservation of samples for further process.
6. Tentative Agenda
Lecture 1: Significance of eDNA biomonitoring and its applications in the marine ecosystem
Lecture 2: Principle and technical guideline I – Field sampling
Lecture 3: Principle and technical guideline II – Lab preparation
Lecture 4: Principle and technical guideline III – Nucleic acid testing
Lecture 5: Principle and technical guideline IV – Data analysis
Field trip (Demonstration and practice of eDNA sampling with equipment)
Lab practice (Sample processing and testing)
Brainstorming discussion and wrap up