Announcing the Tuvalu Fisheries Department Lecture Series (TFDLS) 2016

We are now running an in-house lecture series designed to up-skill our staff in many aspects of their work. The series will run throughout the year and will be delivered by our own advisers (Fisheries Adviser FA, and Inshore Fisheries Adviser IFA), the Government’s Human Resources Department (HRD), guest lecturers visiting the country and others as the opportunity arises.

Lectures run each Wednesday throughout the year unless notified otherwise. The lectures are for Fisheries Staff only – at present we are unable to accommodate people from outside the department. Lectures will run for approximately an hour, followed by a session of putting the skills in practice – up until lunchtime. Participants should bring their laptop computer to do the exercises.

L1. clip_image00123/3/16: Phylogeny and taxonomy of Fishes – Why use dead names? (IFA)

If you are a fisheries officer, you need to know the official scientific names of the fishes in Tuvalu. No ifs or buts. Although familiar, and what you will use when discussing your work with the public and fishers, Tuvaluan and English common names for fish are not specific enough for fisheries management: we have probably 350 species of reef fishes here. The world needed another way to fully identify all the millions of species on the planet. During this lecture we are going to go through the system of naming used all over the world.

L2. 30/3/16: clip_image001[4]Professional Writing Made Easy – Really! (IFA)

Writing is all about thinking things through, deciding what you need to say and saying it as clearly as possible. We will discuss what role you play in the equation and how templates can guide you. We will also develop templates for scientific writing, dashboard type reports, fishery profiles and trip reports you are likely to need from day-to-day in your work.

L3. 6/4/16: GOT Core Training: Public Service Induction & Performance Management (HRD)

Public Service Induction: The Induction Program will provide officers with the understanding of why we have a Public Service and how they as an officer contribute to the goals and objectives to provide efficient and effective services to the citizens of Tuvalu. It is designed to be a high-level, overarching introduction to Public Service employment, to ensure all officers have an understanding of the broader context within which the Public Service operates. This program is intended to complement and support existing ministry specific Induction and orientation programs and the General Administration Orders (GAO) awareness sessions. The Office of the Prime Minister developed the Induction Program to provide information on all aspects of the Public Service and to ensure officers understand and meet expected work performance and behaviours.

Performance Management and Appraisal Process: The Performance Management and Appraisal process will provide all Public Servants with information on how the staff performance management and appraisal process is managed and applied across the public service; and who is responsible for what part of the process. The main objective is to ensure all staff have a good understanding of how the performance appraisal process is managed and implemented, and more importantly to improve the performance of the public service to achieve planned outcomes.

L4. 13/4/16: Everything you ever wanted to know about VDS, and were afraid to ask (FA)

The Vessel-Day Scheme (VDS) is the system used by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to manage fishing for skipjack in their waters. The VDS is both a conservation tool (intended to ensure sustainable use of the resource) and an economic tool (intended to increase the benefits that resource owners get from the fishery). Tuvalu is a PNA country, and actively participates in the VDS, following its rules in-country and working with other PNA countries to continually improve its performance. This talk will try to explain what the VDS is, how Tuvalu has benefitted from it, and why the future of the scheme is so important to Tuvalu.

L5. 20/4/16: Using Excel – All the Tricks for Organising Data (IFA)

Spreadsheets, formatting as tables, pivot tables, charting and much more. You will learn how to organise data properly so that it can be manipulated, summarised and presented in simple formats such as dashboards. We will cover independent variables, dependent variables and Excel’s built-in functions. As an exercise we will create a killer budget template that will change the way you organise information forever!

L6. 27/4/16: How to Summarise Loads of Data – Part I – Means and Frequencies (IFA)

There are two main types of statistics you are likely to come across as Fisheries Officers. One type is designed to summarise vast amounts of information (Descriptive Stats), while the other is about deciding whether groups of observations or measurements are different from one another or some expected value (Inferential Stats). In this lecture, we are going to cover the most useful descriptive stats you can use in your work. We will look at what these really mean, how to calculate them and how to use them properly.

L7. 4/5/16: From Database to Report – Finding out what Data are Telling Us (IFA)

Once data have been collected from the field and entered into the database for storage and organisations how do we get them back out in ways that make sense? And how do we use them for fisheries? This lecture will cover the use of queries from databases and give you some methods for preparing the outputs for reporting. Although we will use the creel data in this training as an example, the techniques are applicable to all our data collections throughout the department.

L8. 11/5/16: How to Summarise Loads of data – Part II – Introduction to GIS (IFA)

For some fisheries applications, particularly ecosystem approaches, mapping the results of our work is the logical choice. For example, if we want to describe where fishers fished, or where they landed catches, we would probably find it easier to describe in maps than in text or graphs. If we want to describe Ciguatera hotspots on the reef, or where water quality is poor a map is really the only choice. In this lecture we will take a look at Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and how they can be applied to Fisheries problems. We will look at Google Earth (internet permitting) and MapInfo as two possible GIS platforms for our work.

imageL17. 13/7/16: Old Wives Tales and Ciguatera (IFA)

Everyone talks about Ciguatera, but what do we really know about it? Who are the main researchers and what did they find out? Is it really caused by ship-wrecks, and can we detect it using a coin baked in the fish? What other kinds of seafood poisoning are there? And how do we tell them apart? This lecture will cover the history of ciguatera research, its natural history, methods of detection, how to monitor it, all the different toxins involved and a whole lot more.