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President Remengesau declares Palau EEZ a marine sanctuary

President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. closes water to commercial fishing

Koror/Palau – February 10, 2014. On Tuesday, February 04, 2014, H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau, President of the Republic of Palau, a Pacific Island nation, declared the waters of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (230,000 Sq. Miles / 620,000 Sq. Kms.), as a marine sanctuary, during his keynote address at the United Nations Sustainable Oceans Forum in New York.

President Remengesau, Palau

President Remengesau explains this initiative with very distinct word: “Palau’s economic potential lies in tourism, not tuna. Tourism, in fact, already provides more than half of our GDP, and it depends upon our pristine marine environment.” The declaration further stresses Palau’s leading the way in conservation efforts. The country was the first nation in 2009 to declare its EEZ a shark sanctuary and article 6 of Palau’s constitution requires its government to “take positive action” to conserve “a beautiful, healthful and resourceful natural environment.”

Dermot Keane, founder of conservation organization Palau Shark Sanctuary and ardent protector of sharks, comments: “This is another great step in the right direction to protect Palau’s pristine environment and its healthy marine ecosystem. 80 percent of global fish stocks are now fully or overexploited. Strengthening sustainable ecotourism makes perfectly sense for Palau and can hopefully be a role model to be studied by other nations in the Pacific region to follow the direction our nation is taking.”

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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President RemengesauTitle: H.E. Tommy E. Remengesau, President of Palau
Text: President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. closes waters of Palau to commercial fishing
Image credit: © President’s Office, Republic of Palau

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