Virtual shark and ray MPA workshop held for the Coral Triangle
As part of the pre-workshops leading up to the 3rd National Sharks and Rays Symposium of Indonesia held in April this year, WWF conducted a virtual training and workshop session focused on marine protected areas (MPAs) for sharks and rays in collaboration with the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CTI-CFF).
The workshop was opened by members of the Threatened Species Working Group and the CTI-CFF Regional Secretariat and attended by 19 selected participants from 5 different countries in the Coral Triangle – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and the Solomon Islands.
The purpose of the workshop was to provide participants with capacity-building activities to better equip country representatives with the necessary knowledge to ensure effective species conservation in their own countries.
Virtual shark and ray MPA workshop © WWF-Indonesia / CTI-CFF
Dr. Cassie Rigby, who led the training session, introduced the participants to the Rapid Assessment Toolkit, developed by WWF and James Cook University back in 2019, before participants were divided into different groups to work on national shark MPA case studies. Using the guidelines provided, each group was tasked with developing a design framework and a management plan for an effective shark and ray MPA.
By working on the national case studies, participants were encouraged to consider the multi-dimensional aspects of a shark and ray MPA, such as the biology and ecology of the protected species, socio-economic aspects, fisheries measures, as well as monitoring and evaluation, among others.
Dr. Rigby highlighted that it was her hope that with the workshop, participants will be able to apply the knowledge they had gained to further advance shark and ray conservation in each of their respective countries.