BioSearch is a program designed to allow anyone to participate in CNMI's Marine Monitoring Program and improve the management of CNMI's marine environment. It is difficult for a few people to collect enough information on animals or events that are rare. By combining the efforts of many, many volunteer divers it is possible to gain an understanding of the local marine environment that has never been possible with annual surveys at specific sites. The program seeks to collect information about animals and the environment:
Animals such as sea turtles, sharks, and certain large fish have become less common over the years. BioSearch will help with our understanding of where these animals can still be found and if there are areas that they seem to prefer. This will help us better identify areas to protect to allow for their recovery. Some animals, such as Acanthaster planci (the crown-of-thorns starfish), are known to go through population explosions that can have serious effects on reef communities. Information about when and where these outbreaks are occuring improve the chances of effectively managing them.
Occasionally, short-term enviornmental changes occur and have long-lasting effects on local marine life. A coral bleaching event in 2003 effectively eliminated a staghorn coral community in the Saipan Lagoon for the foreseeable future. Other problems, such as mud and silt pollution from on shore runoff might be chronic, and by documenting how often this problem occurs, management efforts can be better targeted address the problems. Volunteer observations and reports have helped drive a mulitagency effort to revegetate the watershed at Lau Lau Bay shore dive site.
WHAT WE HAVE... SO FAR
Raw data, and alot of it... Oh yeah, and some graphs. (Best viewed with IE8)
WANT TO HELP?
Volunteers are to contact Dave Benavente at Coastal Resources Management at (670)664-8303 or dave.benavente @ crm.gov.mp
Download the most recent BioSearch Divelog.
NEED HELP IDENTIFYING WHALES AND DOLPHINS?
Download the following PDFs to get you started:
Whale Guide ***OtherToothed Whales***
Humans and Cetaceans Guide (Information about rules and regulations)
Dive Rota, G4 Security, PMRI, CRM
We would like to thank those people and organizations that have helped out with BioSearch in the past.
Abracadabra, All American Divers, Brett Donahue, Chad Griebenow, Blue Sea Sports, Dive Rota, Eric Javier, Glen Palacios, Hiro, Marine Fantasia, MOC, Ron Sikkel, Seashore, Stingray Divers, Susan Marchitti, Yuji Fujie, Moana Saipan, Divesite with Saipan, Heart of Gold Divers, Saipan Aqua Jet, SDR, CMLC Artha, Approach.