by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
While Chile, New Zealand and UK are among the many countries who have announced to develop marine parks to protect their oceans from overfishing, Palau has also taken this move to protect its marine species and ocean from overfishing.
With hundreds of islands around the country containing more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, Palau’s National Congress has approved the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, a move to protecting its vast marine resources.
Conservationists say the 500,000 sq km sanctuary approved to be developed in Palau would be the world’s sixth largest fully protected area, and is twice the size of Mexico.
According to Seth Horstmeyer, Director of the Charity’s Global Ocean Legacy project, the “creation of this sanctuary conserves one of the most spectacular ocean environments on Earth”, and will see an 80 percent of the marine territory kept as reserved.
Apart from the portion that will be kept for reservation, 20 percent of the sanctuary will still be accessible by the local Palau fishermen for their survival.
The develoment of this marine sanctuary will help save Palau’s oceans from overfishing and other illegal marine activities from taking place, while it protects its marine resources for its long term survival.