PacMAN?

The project will develop a national invasive species monitoring system as well as an early-warning decision-support tool for Pacific SIDS, offering a user-friendly dashboard indicating the potential presence of invasive species (including pathogens and pest species) or risk of invasions to support local management. The project will achieve this goal through a work plan that includes (i) needs assessment and review of current best practices in detecting invasive species; (ii) training of local scientists in Read more…

PacMAN scientific training course announced

The first PacMAN scientific training course is announced. This hybrid course containing both online and on-site training will develop the capacity of local stakeholders in Fiji in marine biosecurity and the use of molecular methods in monitoring marine biodiversity. The course will be hosted on the Ocean Teacher Global Academy e-learning platform, and at the USP Suva campus. More specifically the training course will provide an introduction to sample collection and sorting, including taxonomy and Read more…

PacMAN presented at invasive alien species consultations for IAS Policy Review

The PacMAN project was presented at the GEF 6 Invasive Alien Species consultations on the IAS Policy Review and the National Invasive Species Framework and Strategic Plan (NISFSAP) validations at the Outrigger Resort from the 12th to 13th of May. Mr. Joape Ginigini (Project Manager) highlighted the project’s history, design and methodologies. He also explained how PacMAN would be able to provide data needed in the field of Marine Biosecurity in Fiji using eDNA and Read more…

DNA extractions of first PacMAN samples

The work for the trial phase of PacMAN is well on its way, as detailed in the PacMAN monitoring plan. With multiple field campaigns already completed and samples processed by morphological sorting and for molecular work, the PacMAN team is collecting invaluable data on marine biodiversity at the Suva harbour. The combination of methods will allow PacMAN to get an overview of the taxonomic groups currently present at the harbour, and evaluate the methods in Read more…

PacMAN project presented at the 22nd International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species

The developments of PacMAN were presented at the 22nd International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS), in Oostende, Belgium on the 19th of April 2022, in the session regarding genetic tools for monitoring. A total of about 400 people were following this conference with approximately 200 at site and 200 on-line in virtual mode divided across four simultaneous sessions at a time. PacMAN was one of the few examples of marine invasive species monitoring being developed Read more…

First field sample collection of PacMAN finalised

The first field sampling campaign of PacMAN has been successfully completed. Settlement plates were replaced, plankton and water samples collected and environmental parameters recorded. Three settlement plates from each site were used for sorting and collecting specimens for genetic vouchering. These initial sampling campaigns will help in refining the sampling protocols and in testing the environmental DNA workflow. More pictures can be seen on the PacMAN facebook page.

PacMAN settlement plates deployed

As an initiation of PacMAN monitoring settlement plates have been deployed to four sites in the Suva harbour. Each site has three sets of three settlement plates at different depths along the water column depending on the total water depth and tides. Along with deployments, sampling for plankton, water and environmental measurements were also performed. In addition to the plates, signage boards were installed at each of the four sites, to ensure that the monitoring Read more…

Official Launch of PacMAN monitoring activities

PacMAN monitoring activities were officially launched on the morning of 24.11 at 10 am (FJT, UTC+12).  This launch was the first step to begin research activities at the harbor site as part of the project’s commitment to establishing a marine invasive species monitoring plan and a desktop decision support tool for the management of marine alien invasive species. Major stakeholders in Fiji were present at the launch, including the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Read more…

PacMAN team visits BAF qPCR laboratory

The PacMAN team from the Institute of Applied Sciences visited the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji’s technical and laboratory facility based in Koronivia, Nausori.  The visit was scheduled following the official signing of an Operational Arrangement Agreement between IAS-USP and BAF on the 10th of November 2021. The IAS team consisted of the local PacMAN Project Manager Mr. Joape Ginigini, Mrs. Paayal Kumar (Project Assistant-IAS) and Ms. Miriama Vuiyasawa (Laboratory Technician-IAS) and the visit was facilitated Read more…

BAF and USP partner under PacMAN activities

An operational arrangement between the University of the South Pacific’s Institute of Applied Science (IAS) and the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) was made to enable activities under the PacMAN project. This will strengthen Fiji’s capability in detecting marine invasions and enhancing marine environment by monitoring high-risk marine invasive alien species (MIAS). The two institutions signed the Pacific Islands Marine Bioinvasions Alert Network (PACMAN) Project Operational Arrangement Agreement on November 10 (2021) at USP’s Marine Read more…

Final report of the PacMAN advisory board meeting available

On the 14th of September 2021, PacMAN held the full advisory board meeting. The full report is available here. This first session of the IODE steering group for PacMAN (i.e. PacMAN advisory board) brought together the PacMAN coordinating team with major local stakeholders, representatives of the donor (Flanders Government) and international scientific experts, to adopt the monitoring plan, and discuss the development of the project across the next two years. During the two hour online Read more…