Training in Marine Ornamental Farming for Extension Professionals in Micronesia

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2011: $51,050.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Western
State: Federated States of Micronesia
Principal Investigator:

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Sustainable Communities: employment opportunities, community development


    This project was based on assumptions that the marine ornamental aquaculture industry in Micronesia could be improved by better skills, knowledge, and communication between practitioners. The Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei (MERIP), a not for profit corporation involved in the industry, led the project. In 2012, three activities occurred: a training workshop in Pohnpei; a study tour of Majuro and Kosrae; and study tour to the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America annual meeting. All three activities were completed successfully. In total 53 people involved in the marine ornamental industry received training or outreach from this project. Project follow-ups were conducted in 2013 and early 2015 and technical assistance was provided throughout the project period. Key participants reported sustained increased productivity, activity and coordination between producers and extension workers; increased skill levels; and new partnerships.

    Project objectives:

    Assumptions: The marine ornamental aquaculture industry in the RMI and FSM could be greatly improved by better coordination and communication between practitioners. In addition, there are knowledge gaps especially between Land Grant and other public sector extension professionals of marine ornamental farming techniques. Improvements in these areas will lead to a greater number of people involved in the field, a larger variety of products being farmed, better pricing for products being grown and a higher skill level among outreach and extension professionals in the public sector.

    Resources: Nearly all of the resources for this project will come from funding from SARE with matching from MERIP. The primary trainer will be Simon Ellis, the MERIP Director. Training facilities will be provided at MERIP for the on-site training component of the project (see Activities and Methods below). MERIP has a fully equipped facility with commercial scale demonstration training modules for marine ornamental aquaculture. Private sector partners will also be invited to the on-site training at MERIP.

    Intended Outputs: 1. Audience. The main audience for the project will be Land Grant and/or faculty professionals who deal with aquaculture education and outreach from the College of Micronesia – FSM (COM-FSM) and College of the Marshall Islands (CMI). In addition, MERIP staff (4 individuals including the project leader Simon Ellis) and private sector practitioners from Kosrae and Majuro (2 individuals) will be part of the learning group. Members from the local fisheries management agencies in Pohnpei, Kosrae and Majuro will also be part of the group as will key personnel from grass roots conservation groups that promote sustainable aquaculture in the region. In total it is expected that 25-30 individuals with outreach responsibilities will receive training during the project. It is expected that representatives of the following organizations will attend the trainings.

    COM-FSM Land Grant (Government)

    CMI Land Grant (Government)

    COM-FSM marine science faculty (Government)

    CMI marine science faculty (Government)

    Conservation Society of Pohnpei (NGO)

    Pohnpei State Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Government)

    Kosrae Conservation and Safety Organization (NGO)

    Kosrae State Department of Fisheries (Government)

    Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority (Government)

    Marshall Island Mariculture Farm (Private Sector)

    Micronesian Marketing and Management Enterprises (Private Sector)

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.