PROP Summary Progress Report 2018: July-December

Calendar year 2018 centered on restructuring RMI PROP activities to prepare for a successful Mid-Term Review and project outcomes. While first semester 2018 focused on undergoing a restructure process and activities, the second semester focused on implementing the restructured and realigned activities. As a result, RMI PROP disbursed $257,945 of $283,000, or 91%, of planned expenditure for six months ending December 31, 2018. RMI PROP focused on expansion of the Information Management System (IMS) and hiring the Competent Authority (CA) Advisor. Activities for expansion of IMS and improvements progressed as planned. To provide dedicated project and procurement support requested by RMI PROP, the World Bank PROP project team commenced quarterly implementation support missions. This helped to alleviate project delays by providing more timely reviews and recommendations each quarter. This in turn enabled the Project Management Unit (PMU) to progress procurement of necessary goods and services in a more timely manner.

Oceanic Division

The work focused on capacity building and progressing key initiatives.

Two Oceanic staff accessed the training funds during this period. One staff attended the Tuna Data Workshop while another staff attended the Electronic Monitoring Training.

ICT consultant completed preliminary scoping and related reports, completed MCS Operating Center design report, assisted with drafting the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment technical specifications, and provided technical advice as needed during the invitation to bid and bid evaluation process. This resulted in successfully awarding ICT equipment Invitation to Quote (ITQ) and receipt and installation of Batch 1 of the ICT equipment with approximate total cost of $236,000.

MIMRA hired a CA Advisor, while RMI PROP will fund the CA activities, including goods and services.


Coastal Division

A series of developments for outer island communities were seen during the July-December 2018 period.

The Likiep Atoll hatchery spawning trial has proved successful. Inventory conducted in February 2019 showed that more than one million clams have survived and have completed the settlement phase. Clams will be reared in the raceway tanks for at least six-to-nine months prior to distribution. A recent report from Likiep staff states that clams will be ready for distribution to farmers for ocean-based grow out in May 2019.

Fish Aggregate Device (FAD) workshops were conducted in Ebeye and Lib islands. As a result of the community consultations, potential FAD sites were identified. The identified areas located in the western part of Kwajalein Atoll were confirmed as Zone 1, as well as the Lib Island FAD site, in August/September of 2018. The trip also included FAD Rigging and Deployment training to Ebeye and Lib participants who were selected by their respective local governments.

The Coastal team also conducted habitat surveys in Ebeye and Lib. Activities included:

1) identify
ing potential species and sites for aquaculture through capturing air and underwater photos,
2) collecting biophysical and envirophysical data, and
3) interviewing community members.

This information has been collected in anticipation of future aquaculture-related requests from Ebeye and Lib and will also be compiled in the RMI Aquaculture Profile that is currently being developed by the Coastal team.

Following a request from Cabinet to look into the coral bleaching events in Majuro, the Coastal team surveyed six distinct sites with five being scattered across the lagoon, and one located outside: Ajeltake, Dren Mweo, Uliga, Woja and Kolalen in November of 2018. The sites were chosen by location as well as distinguishable reef characteristics. Results from this assessment confirmed that approximately 75% of the areas monitored were affected by coral bleaching and that regular monitoring of coral bleaching needs to take place. In addition, this report will serve as a basis for the need for the formulation of a National Coral Reef Taskforce.

Reimaanlok (Looking to the Future) fisheries management activities continued covering the atolls of Ujae, Lae, Ebon and Maloelap. Final consultations for Ebon, Ujae, and Lae are required before completing the management plans. Socioeconomic and marine surveys have been completed and management plans are in draft form.