Masters student Rollan Geronimo is keen to see the results of research taken up by end users of coral reef systems – in particular the local fisherfolk.
“I always try to link my research work to direct applications and recommendations for coastal resource managers,” he says.
Through his work with the Modelling and Decision Support Working Group, Rollan is focused on decision support tools and modeling of the Bolinao-Anda reef complex. The reef faces stressors include destructive fishing, excessive harvesting, sedimentation, and pollution.
Rollan’s studies have contributed to the development of a systems-dynamics tool to predict the carrying capacities of reef habitats. When applied to the reef systems near Pangasinan towns, the FISH-BE tool can highlight the effect of various stresses on the reef system and the need for intervention to reduce their impact on the reef and fish populations.
Rollan is also compiling, processing and analyzing available biophysical, fisheries and socio-economic data on the complex from the last decade to determine if events such as the 1998 massive bleaching, and the establishment of Marine Protected Areas and other management interventions are impacting on the reef fish.
Initial analysis show increasing fish biomass from 2003 to 2006 and changes in fish density during this time. These trends may be a partial indication of the positive impacts of protection. Evidence such as this provides a strong justification for implementing marine protection measures.
Rollan has participated in several workshops on fisheries with local community members, fisherfolk, local government officials, non-government organisation representatives and other scientists which has reinforced his commitment to implementation of research findings.