The exportation of live reef fish has now been banned in Palau, following spirited debate over whether it was a matter for state or national government control.
Rather than a stand alone bill, the ban on the exporting of live reef fish was this week passed after being attached to a bill to increase the maximum loan amount by the Palau National Development Bank.
Individual State governments had granted permission for life fish exports bycollecting direct fees and until this law, no national legislation protected these vital resources.
The issue of the catching, holding and feeding snapper and grouper with smallerfish and periodic shipping of the fish to markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan was brought to public attention earlier in the year when a local tour operator posted photographs ofa “mother ship” and numerous fishing boats on its website.
The Northern Reefs are considered critical breeding grounds for fish consumed by the people of Palau. As such, indiscriminate fishing of not only mature fish but also the smaller fish used as food, concerned marine environmentalists and local leaders.
In his legislative request to the Congress, President Remengesau Jr. had stressed that the “insatiable markets of Asia” for fresh reef fish would result in the decimation of Palau’s reef fish unless banned.
Source: Pacific Magazine
I Google’d Palau to find a picture for the blog. Every image is incredible. I encourage you to take a look. I can see why the government wants to protect this haven.