Palau creating new ocean reserve
Photo credit: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151022-palau-marine-protected-area-oceans-animals-conserv
Palau, an island nation in the middle of the western Pacific Ocean has approved the creation of an enormous marine reserve.
The nation of Palau is moving forward with creating a marine reserve that is over 500,000 square kilometers, making it one of the top 5 fully protected marine areas in the world. With the new marine reserve 80% of Palau’s territorial waters will be protected from any extractive activities, including fishing and mining.
Palau is one the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Palau’s waters are home to over 1300 species of fish and 700 species of hard and soft corals, including pristine marine lakes that host 1000’s of non-stinging jellyfish.
Palau has historically set aside smaller reef areas during fish spawning and feeding periods as a way of giving the reefs time to heal. The government is still examining how to enforce the sanctuaries because it has no military and one enforcement boat.
The original article ‘Jane J. Lee’ by National Geographic is available here.