No-take zone: Palau braces for challenges in implementing National Marine Sanctuary Act

Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act

The Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act went into full effect on Jan. 1. Signed in 2015, the law designates Palau’s marine sanctuary as a no-take zone. But with potential poachers’ intrusion into the protected area, stakeholder said enforcement can be a challenge.

"We will conduct patrols in the marine sanctuary as we did in the past in the (Palau Exclusive Economic Zone) and as we will be doing in the domestic fishing zone," said Victor Remengesau, director of the Marine Law Enforcement Division under the Ministry of Justice.

Remengesau said the Palau government has built regional partnerships and will adopt the latest technology to alleviate the enforcement challenges and ensure that no resources are extracted from the sanctuary.

Under the law, fishing in the sanctuary and unlicensed fishing in the domestic fishing zone by neighbors constitute a breach of the PNMS Act and violators are subject to prosecution.