Palau to ban live fish export

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Posted by on May 07, 2008 at 10:59:57:

Both Houses of the Olbiil er a Kelulau have passed a measure, which will put a stop to the exportation of live reef fish out of Palau.

OEK has, through its legislative findings, found that the “exporting of live Reef Fish from the Republic of Palau is a destructive and [an] unsustainable fishing practice." Further, the OEK found that such practice is indiscriminate fishing in that there is not a defined limit as to the kind and size of fish to export. In addition, the OEK found that the species of live fish currently being exported are being fed with other species of fish caught in Palau waters.

Both houses, at the request of President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. simultaneously introduced similar legislations – introduced in the House of Delegates (HOD) by Delegate Thomas Patris and in the Senate by Senator Surangel Whipps, Sr. – that pushed to prohibit export of live Reef Fish altogether.

Remengesau had written to HOD Speaker Antonion Bells, and Senate President Whipps on March 12 to request that such a prohibition be legislated into law in order that current and future indiscriminate fishing will not further destroy Palau’s fragile marine ecosystems and the environment. In his letter, Remengesau indicated that the live fish export business feeds an “insatiable market” in other countries, which – if prolonged – “will eventually lead to the destruction of our reef habitat.”

Last week, through heated debates, arguments, and conferences, members of the OEK voted to pass a legislation to ban the export of live reef fish. The measure shall become law when the Presidents approves and signs it.

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