26 Feb 2020 - The Guardian - Fishing ban has led to an increased consumption of the reef fish in the Pacific country – such as grouper, snapper and parrotfish – that the marine sanctuary promised to protect. What can be learned?
Palau introduced a new 500,000 sq km (193,000 sq mile) marine sanctuary on 1 January to much fanfare.
The establishment of the sanctuary, which is twice the size of Mexico and is the world’s sixth-largest fully protected area, saw Palau close 80% of its economic exclusion zone to commercial fishing as well as activities like drilling for oil.
While the closure of the EEZ to commercial fishing aimed to reduce pressure on the reef by encouraging sustainable domestic fishing of fish like tuna, the ban has actually led to a shortage as commercial fishing vessels have moved out of Palau’s waters.