Palau National Marine Sanctuary
From Palau Marine Sanctuary website:
"On October 28, 2015, Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. signed into law the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, one of the World’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives to date aimed at not only protecting Palau’s marine resources, but also at protecting the world’s tuna stocks.
This new law will:
After a transition period of five years, 1) creates a no-take Marine Sanctuary (approximately 500,000 square kilometers) covering 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in which no fishing will occur and 2) creates a Domestic Fishing Zone covering approximately 20% of Palau’s EEZ in which traditional and domestic fishing activities will be allowed to provide fish solely for the domestic market;
Strengthens the monitoring of foreign fishing vessels’ passage through and activities in Palau’s EEZ;
Ensures that the States of Palau will not lose current revenue streams from fishing activities; and
Identifies additional funding to cover the cost of implementing a comprehensive and efficient surveillance and monitoring system and enhancing economic development by expanding the green fee and renaming it as the Environmental Impact Fee.
Through the passage of this law, Palau is recognizing that there needs to be a change in the way that we manage our oceans. In the past, we have allowed poorly managed fishing to occur everywhere except in isolated reserves. In the future, we will have to move to a precautionary approach where fishing is only allowed in regulated areas."
28 Oct 2015 - Palau's President Tommy Remengesau signed the sanctuary into law. After the full sanctuary is phased in the next five years, the remaining 20 percent of the country's waters will be reserved for fishing by local individual and small-scale commercial fisheries. The large fleets of foreign trawlers that dominate fishing throughout most of the Pacific will be banned.
22 Oct 2015 - Palau's Congress passed the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act with the signing of the law on Oct 28, 2015.
President Remengesau unveiled the design for the proposed Palau National Marine Sanctuary. In October 2014, legislation was introduced in the Palau Senate and in August 2015, the Palau House announced a companion bill. The proposal is expected to advance in the next legislative session with full designation in 2016.
From Palau Oceans website:
Palau is poised to make history by establishing the world’s first Nation-wide Marine Sanctuary – designating its entire ocean territory as a regenerative zone for sharks, whales, tuna, and countless other precious species.
This is a bold vision to reverse the oceans’ degradation from industrial fishing and to protect one of the last great places on Earth, and we know it can work. Palau declared the world’s first shark sanctuary in 2009. Today, 10 countries have followed Palau's lead, creating 4.9 million square miles of shark sanctuary. Others have followed suit with similarly important shark protections. Palau showed that it was possible. Its small spark ignited massive global action.
As you can see from the news reports, the idea of a National Marine Sanctuary is even more powerful. Palau Oceans was established to support programs in Palau that will help make the National Marine Sanctuary a reality and pave the way to restoring healthy oceans globally.
Palau's plans to ban commercial fishing could set precedent for tuna industry (26 Mar 2014) The Guardian