Palau creates national marine sanctuary

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Earthjustice applauds the creation of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, signed into law today by President Tommy Remengesau, establishing one of the world’s largest marine protected areas.

“This bold action to protect the full sweep of the country’s valuable ocean resources affirms that Palau is a world leader in marine conservation,” said Drew Caputo, Earthjustice Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife and Oceans. “No other country has done more.”

The law designates 80 percent of the nation’s exclusive economic zone — an area bigger than the state of California — as a no-take marine reserve, and the remaining 20 percent as a managed domestic fishing zone for local fishers to supply the national market and ensure food security for Palau now and into the future.

Palau’s marine ecosystems are some of the most diverse on earth, home to more than 700 species of coral and 1,300 species of fish. Globally, oceans are threatened by over-fishing, pollution, warming and acidification.

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