Palau Makes Fiery Stand Against Illegal Fishing

by   Profile Mares   When 15th July 2015
The Vietnamese fishing boats aflame. (c) Archive Taucher.Net
The Vietnamese fishing boats aflame. (c) Archive Taucher.Net

NO to illegal fishery!

In June 2015, the idyllic island paradise of Palau issued a strong statement against illegal fishing.

The authorities burnt and sank several Vietnamese fishing boats which
were used in illegal fishing activities in Palau's protected marine
areas. When they were caught, more than eight tons of reef fish and sea
cucumber had been found on board.

While the boats' captains remain incarcerated in Palau, their crew of
77 men were sent off on two remaining boats with enough food and fuel
to last them on their journey back to Vietnam.

Such drastic measures were taken after military and diplomatic means to cut down on illegal fishing had little effect.

"This message goes to the captain and the crews of these boats: Palau
will ensure that they will return with nothing,
" said Tommy Remengesau
Jr, President of Palau.

Since last year, a total of 15 Vietnamese boats had been caught fishing
illegally, carrying more than 25 tonnes of marine life destined for the
Asian black market.

For years, Palau has been strong in marine protection, creating the
world's first shark sanctuary in 2009. The then president Johnson
Toribiong had even called for a global ban on shark finning. Five years
later, in February 2014, President Remengesau declared the Exclusive
Economic Zone (EEZ) of Palau (comprising 620,000 square kilometres) a
marine reserve.

Although Palau's economy is largely based on fishing, President
Remengesau pointed out that the economic potential of Palau was not in
tuna fishing, but tourism. Currently, tourism comprises more than half
of the nation's gross domestic product. Hence, it is in the country's
best interests to safeguard the natural environment and marine life.

Information about Scuba Diving on Palau:

Written by
Profile Mares
When 15th July 2015
Location Koror, Palau

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