CMS Dugong Bycatch Questionnaire adapted for use in Timor-Leste commnities

August 22, 2016

TL Project Update: Jan thru June 2016

At the start of TL1, Conservation International (CI), the project lead, worked on identifying three communities to work with on integrating dugong and seagrass conservation and monitoring in the management plans for these communities.

In this period, CI made major preparations for the implementation of the project. The team reached the communities in Com, Tutuala and Lore, located in the Eastern part of the island, around Nino Konis Santana National Park, and presented the project to community members, local governments and representatives of public institutions – district officers for environment, fisheries and agriculture, and forest and beach guards.

CI worked on adapting the CMS Dugong MoU bycatch questionnaire, adjusting it to the situation in Timor-Leste. The team chose to use the short CMS questionnaire as a printed questionnaire. A number of questions related to turtles and cetaceans were added. The questionnaire was translated into the national language of Tetun and was approved by Fisheries staff. Only one community received the questionnaire as of the end of this reporting period.

In preparation for data collection activities, CI and the Fisheries Directorate (MAFF) agreed to support the current Government-led seagrass mapping project.

TL1 lead also held discussions with the local university, UNITAL (Universidade Oriental Timor Lorosa’e) to include their students in project activities to provide field based experience opportunities.