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Palau declares EEZ a shark sanctuary

President Johnson Toribiong urges other nations to follow suit

Koror/Palau, September 25, 2009 – On Friday, September 25, 2009, H.E. Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau, a tiny Pacific Island nation, declared the waters of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (230,000 Sq. Miles / 620,000 Sq. Kms.), as the worlds first officially recognized shark sanctuary, during a meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, in New York.

Shark Sanctuary in Palau
President Toribiong also called for a global ban on shark-finning and for other nations to follow suit. Through his actions, President Toribiong has placed Palau at the very forefront of worldwide efforts to protect sharks.
Dermot Keane, founder of Palau Shark Sanctuary and resolute protector of sharks, comments: “This is a tremendous day for Palau and for the global initiatives to protect sharks from absolute and unsustainable destruction! Palau Shark Sanctuary deeply commends President Toribiong for his international leadership in world efforts to protect sharks.“

In March 2009, two newly elected senators had submitted bills to the government suggesting to re-introduce shark finning and to levy export tax from tuna fishing. This move had been followed by strong protests around the globe.

For more information on non-profit organization Palau Shark Sanctuary, please visit

Editorial note:
Under the law of the sea, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources. It stretches from the edge of the state’s territorial sea out to 200 nautical miles from its coast.

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Palau Shark SanctuaryTitle: Palau – A shark sanctuary
Text: The sharks in Palau are well protected. Divers enjoy watching the sharks at famous Blue Corner, mostly Grey Reef Sharks, White Tip and Black Tip Reef Sharks.
Image credit: © Christoph Hoppe


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