"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.
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.
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.
Marine Conservation Institute and the Waitt Foundation provide this
interactive tool to help users visualize the locations and coverage of global
marine protected areas (MPA). This atlas provides information on over 8000 MPAs
globally, drawing on datasets from the
World Database on Protected Areas1,
US MPA Center2,
and other country- and regional-level data authorities, as well as research
conducted by the Marine Conservation Institute.
In addition to MPA boundaries and site management information, this dataset
contains information on conservation measures with a particular focus on those
restricting the exploitation of marine life.
Features on this site are designed to allow users to understand (1) where current
protection exists and at what level, and (2), where important areas for future protection
are and any processes underway to establish MPAs. This provides vital information to
countries and their citizens interested in ocean conservation, management and stewardship.
The dataset is constantly being updated and we welcome visitors to the site to provide
feedback and update content by creating a member account on MPAtlas today.