The PacMAN coordination team is pleased to announce that the PacMAN marine invasive species monitoring plan was endorsed by the advisory board at the meeting on the 14.9.2021. The first version of the monitoring plan is now available online.
The monitoring plan outlines the plans for the PacMAN team for the next two years. To ensure both a comprehensive base of information as well as the possibility for rapid detections, PacMAN will be using three different approaches for collecting eDNA data. Metabarcoding of environmental samples will be done to get an overview of the marine biodiversity at the sampling sites, while specimens of local species will be collected and sequenced to enhance genetic databases with local information. Finally, to enable rapid detections of the most high-risk species, quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays will be developed and analysed, together with the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF).
In 2021-2022, the focus will be on collecting baseline information, collecting voucher specimens of local species, testing sample handling and sample processing workflows and developing quantitative PCR assays for high-risk species. The second year 2022-2023, will be dedicated for routine monitoring, sampling on a monthly basis, with a focus on rapid detection of high-risk species, and the finalisation of the decision support tool.
The monitoring plan also lists an initial group of high-risk invasive species which will be the focus of qPCR assay development. All sample processing protocols are shared in detail, and the project timeline and budget are listed as well as the planned sampling stations. A detailed data management plan from standard data collection sheets, data analysis plans, and data sharing protocols, shows how the data collected during PacMAN will be stored and shared in a sustainable manner and according to FAIR data principles.