KOLONIA, POHNPEI, FSM. Dr. Manoj R. Nair (1) and Justino Smith (2)
(1) Director & Chief Scientist, COM Land Grant Aquaculture Programs, Nett Point, Pohnpei, FSM
(2) Senior Aquaculture Extension Agent, COM–FSM Pohnpei Campus, Pohnpei, FSM
As part of a joint project between College of Micronesia Land Grant Porgram (NIFA, USDA) (COMLG), Pakin Community Association (PCA) , Office of the Fisheries and Aquaculture, Pohnpei State (OFA), Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) funded by Small Grants Program (SGP) under the Global Environment Fund (GEF), United Nations, a team from COMLG and OFA led by Dr. Manoj R. Nair, Chief Scientist and Aquaculture Project Director, COMLG, visited Pakin Atoll in Sokehs District of Pohnpei State from February 5-7, 2014 to provide hands-on training for pearl farm management and half pearl seeding training to community members on Pakin. As part of the excersise several members of the community were retrained in pearl farm nursery management and farm maintanance techniques. In addition 6 pre-sleected candidates were (3 girls and 3 boys) imparted hands on skill training in half pearl seeding training by COMLG personnel. The nursery husbandry technique training involved teaching the community how to handle oysters more efficiently while cleaning without stressing and damaging the oysters. They were further taught making chaplets, drilling oysters without damage, hanging oysters, fixing longlines etc..
Six trainees were imparted skill training in half pearl seeding. They were taught different aspects of pearl biology and half pearl seeding, how to handle tools, keep records, post operative care of oysters etc.. Two Master Technicians imparted hands on training to the six trainees. The trainees combinly seeded 97 oysters implanting 5-6 half pearl nuclei per oyster. Each trainees performance has been carefully recorded by the team and oysters tagged. This data will allow the team to monitor individual trainee performance to assess and evaluate them and seleact a couple among the six to further train them and thereby attaining confidence to seed all the current and future oysters for the Pakin Community farm thereby making them self-sufficient as far as half pearl seeding is concerened.
The team wishes to thank the GEF program for their funding support, Executive Director, COMLG (NIFA, USDA) and Adminstrator, OFA for their in-kind contribution for this project. Special thanks are also due to Mr. Masahiro Ito, former Director and Chief Scientist COMLG Aquaculture Programs for his valuable inputs in this project’s conceptulization, design and its initial initiation. The team further acknowdge with thanks the warm hospitality of Pakin community. Dr. Nair or Justino Smith, Senior Aquaculture Extension Agent can be reached at 320-2462/ 2728 or 5731; 320-6038 (COMLG Nett Point Aquaculture Hatchery) for further information about this project or other queries on Aquaculture Programs at COMLG.