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A Historic Sea Change: "Palau Creates World's First Shark Sanctuary"

For Immediate Release:

World's First National Shark Sanctuary To Be Announced

by The Honorable Johnson Toribiong, President of the

Pacific Island Nation of Palau, at the United Nations General Assembly

 

On Friday, September 25, President Johnson Toribiong of Palau will address the United Nations General Assembly and declare that his country will become the world's first national shark sanctuary protecting sharks in 629,000 square kilometers, an area slightly smaller than France or Texas. President Toribiong will also call for a global moratorium on the finning of sharks as well as an end to deep sea bottom trawling, which destroys ancient coral ecosystems.

 

WHO:

 

The Honorable Johnson Toribiong, President of Palau

H.E. Mr Sturt Beck Ambasador of Palau

Matt Rand, Director, Global Shark Conservation, Pew Environment Group

 

WHAT:

 

Press conference following the President's address to the United Nations General Assembly, which will include a declaration that Palau's waters will become the first International Shark Sanctuary.

 

President Toribiong will also call for UN member states to adhere to more stringent marine conservation measures, including an end to the practice of shark finning.

 

WHY:

 

Numerous scientific studies have documented huge declines in shark populations. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that more than half of all highly migratory sharks are either overexploited or depleted and up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to support the shark fin trade, an unsustainable rate.

 

WHEN:

 

1:30 p.m., Friday, September 25, 2009

 

WHERE:

 

Room S-226, United Nations Headquarters, 405 E 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA

 

CALL-IN:

 

1-800-311-9403 for U.S.-based journalists

1-334-323-7224 for Non-U.S.-based journalists

 

B-ROLL WILL BE AVAILABLE – EMAIL dklotz@pewtrusts.org for the FTP site

 

 

Edited by ebonites

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I think that this is great - really for the message it sends that sharks need specific protection. Good work Palau.

 

Alex

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Its truly awesome news.

Edited by PIG004

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Following is a cut and paste of a message I have just received from my friend Dermot Keana of the Shark Sanctuary in Palau.

 

"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.

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. This is a tremendous day for Palau and for worldwide efforts 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.

 

We are very proud of President Toribiong and of Palau on this momentous occasion.

 

Well done Mr. President!

 

Thank You!

 

Dermot Keane

Palau Shark Sanctuary"

 

A resounding step in the right direction.

 

Now they need to raise money to actually be able to patrol that vast swathe of Ocean, dig deep.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

Edited by CamDiver

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Lets hope this is just the first of many countries to provide this protection.

Mike

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I hate to be pessimistic, but what about Palau's regulations allowing the fishermen to keep any sharks caught as "by-catch?" The boats will still be tuna fishing and killing sharks in the process; enforcement is almost impossible; and the market price of dried shark fin motivates illegal fishing, not to mention bribing local officials. Maybe I'm being overly negative...I hope it works.

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We should all support this move and make Palau part of our travel plans. That is one of the best ways we can do to help the Palauans who've made this strong stance and show other nations who depend on tourism they can make money off this.

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I think everyone who has made an effort to raise awareness for the plight of sharks can take credit for this, not just the President, not just dive shops and individuals in Palau, but everyone that has stood up at some point and done something about it.

 

The fight isn't over, it has really only just begun and we shouldn't stand around patting ourselves on the back.

Palau needs help now more than ever before.

 

Nothing like making a stand and drawing attention to yourself and your natural resources whilst also saying you have such a limited ability to look after it all. A real invitation for all the Pirates to come and steal your treasure.

But it's a big step in the right direction.

 

I rely on there being a healthy tourism industry in Palau and in a way today's decision has allowed me to take a small sigh of relief. It has renewed my faith a little in Man's ability to resolve a potentially bad situation.

 

I hope it isn't all just hot air.

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Nice ;) too bad they say it's the first, when French Polynesia, WHICH HAVE THE SIZE OF EUROPE, did it in 2006. shark fishing totally forbiden in the whole waters of the country.

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Here are the environmentally relevant passages from Palau President Toribiong's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 25, 2009:

 

 

Palauans have lived throughout history in symbiosis with the sea. We are seeing now though that the sea, which has long been the source of our sustenance, is both rising in rage to destroy us and becoming barren. This fury was caused by the abuses of humankind and we therefore need to take every action necessary to allow the oceans to heal themselves.

 

• In days gone by, the traditional chiefs of Palau would declare a "bul" – a moratorium to protect a resource which had become scarce. This traditional concept, now popularly known as conservation, shows the way for us to move forward. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." This is why the world must declare a bul on destructive fishing practices like deep sea bottom trawling, unsustainable harvesting of shark for their fins and overexploitation of tuna stocks.

 

• The odious fishing practice of bottom trawling, where a weighted net is dragged along the sea floor crushing nearly everything in its path, is contributing to the rapid loss of a critical ecosystem, our coral reefs. We have outlawed deep sea bottom trawling in Palau, but no matter what we do in our own waters, there must be an international solution.

 

For several years, we have advocated, along with our Pacific neighbors, a moratorium on this practice. The Sustainable Fisheries resolution adopted by the UN in 2007, urged nations and regional fisheries management organizations to stop trawling in sensitive areas by 2009. We have waited for compliance, which has not come, and now renew our call for a worldwide moratorium on this practice.

 

• An equally destructive fishing practice is shark-finning. We have banned it in Palau and call upon the world to address this issue in order to save the sharks from extinction.

 

• The strength and beauty of sharks are a natural barometer for the health of our oceans. Therefore, I declare today that Palau will become the world's first national shark sanctuary, ending all commercial shark fishing in our waters and giving a sanctuary for sharks to live and reproduce unmolested in our 237,000 square miles of ocean. We call upon all nations to join us.

 

• It is anomalous that Palau is experiencing economic difficulty while it sits in the middle of the richest waters in the world. We can no longer stand by while foreign vessels illicitly come to our waters to take our greatest resource, our tuna stocks, without regard to their conservation and without regard for adequate compensation to the island states which rely on this resource.

 

Palau believes that the best model for a regional effort to conserve our tuna resources and maximize the benefits to us is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). I therefore will work for the establishment of OTEC, the Organization of Tuna Exporting Countries, and I now call upon our friends in OPEC to come forward and help us to understand and obtain fair value from our threatened resource and to make tuna fishing sustainable.

 

• We have heard the voices of world leaders from countries small and large, powerful and vulnerable. We have heard the voice of science. Let us heed these voices, fulfill our obligations to our people, and work for a strong economy and a healthy planet.

 

Messages to President Toribiong can be sent to: rop.president@palaunet.com; and Cc'd to: pcoc@palaunet.com, bta@palaunet.com, and sharksanctuary@gmail.com

Edited by ebonites

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I think now it is a time to vote with our fins ;)

Lets go to Palau for our next vacation just to spend our currencies in place that cares.

It will not do a big difference but it is still a contrybution.

 

Big thumbs up Palau

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I applaud this; what organizations can we support that will directly benefit Palau conservation efforts/

If Palau is like other developing nations, enforcement will be their major obstacle - knowing how one could help in this regard by donating appropriately would be helpful

Edited by loftus

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This is very good news indeed. I have been involved with assessing species conservation status with the IUCN recently and things do not look good, especially for sharks. It would be very nice if other nations followed this example.

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I applaud this; what organizations can we support that will directly benefit Palau conservation efforts?

If Palau is like other developing nations, enforcement will be their major obstacle - knowing how one could help in this regard by donating appropriately would be helpful

Loftus

 

Right now, we - all of us - need to be that organization you're asking for.

 

This can be done without any heavy lifting: An urgently needed benefit to Palau right now lies in a campaign of emailing congratulatory letters to Palau's President, wherein he'd also be asked to issue an immediate Executive Order to form an environmental task force to assess the detrimental effects of Senate Bills' No. 8-50 and No. 8-56. These bills as law will have severe negative impact upon his vision of Palau as a sanctuary and as a leader in ocean conservancy.

 

At this time, Palau requires the direct action of halting these two destructive bills within the next two weeks (before the October session of the OEK; Palau's National Congress).

 

Background: I've been active on Palau environmental issues since March. Those who have been reading and posting in this conservation forum since early spring may recall that Palau was initially red-flagged with news of mounting legislative atrocities introduced by Palau's newly elected Senate. I'm referring to:

1) Palau's Senate Bill No. 8-44 (which sought to repeal Palau's existing ban on shark finning),

2) Senate Bill No. 8-50 (which exempts Palauans from 5 years of tax export revenue for all catches and assigns General Santos City in the Philippines as the new transshipment port), and

3) Senate Bill No. 8-56 (which introduces the taking and selling of Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish in Palau's waters).

To date: The most immediate positive outcome of the Palau President's UN declaration was the assured death for the pro-finning Senate Bill, SB No. 8-44. However, SB No. 8-50 and SB No. 8-56 are still very much alive. Both bills are soon going into further readings in the mid-October OEK session (three readings are required for passage both in the Senate and then the House of Delegates). If passed in both the Senate and the House, they then become law with the President's signature. If vetoed, they can still become law by a 2/3rd overriding vote in the OEK. Despite Palau's recent UN declaration, Senate Bills' No. 8-50 and 8-56 are still viable, and the result of their passage into law would be even more devastating than the passage of the now defunct SB No. 8-44.

 

It's well known that the lack of monitoring and enforcement resources in Palau provides incentive for illegal plunder of its EEZ, but Palau must also get its legislative Houses in order for such measures to achieve any prospect of restoration and replenishment. While it's true that Palau is victimized by foreign fishers and poachers, many of Palau's problems with marine resource management lie within its own corrupt officials, compromised and/or uninformed OEK members, and Palau's horrendous homegrown commercial fishing fleet. President Toribiong's UN announcement sets a new high as a manifesto, but his aspirations would rapidly unravel if these two bills become law.

 

Senate Bill No. 8-50 specifically allows for five years of export tax exemption for all fish caught (that would normally go to Palau's Treasury), and assigns General Santos City in the Philippines as the major designated transshipment port for catches (presently Malakal harbor in Palau). Without the tax collection incentive and with catches avoiding Palau's port, all Palauan regulatory oversight is removed...including preventing rampant shark fishing/finning, curtailing endangered species harvest, and control of overshooting quotas. That's the equivilent of institutionalizing the out-of-sight practice of transshipment at sea for a full five years.

 

Some figures: The processing facilities in General Santos are the region's largest; employing over 120,000 people. At present depletion levels, the region's yellowfin populations will collapse within 3 years. The list goes on...

 

This is a terribly unjust and destructive bill, rigged over months of meetings between Palauan and Filipino fishing interests as well as with political figures. It's particularly worrisome in that it's sponsored by Joel Toribiong, the brother of Palau's President. I should mention here that I heard President Johnson Toribiong speak while at the UN. I believe he truly wants a legacy of environmental stewardship. During the Q. & A. session, I realized he was still an island person inside who understood the meaning of a finite environment.

 

Senate Bill No. 8-56 has already passed in all three readings by Palau's Senate by July 28th and has been moved into the House of Delegates where it may pass its second reading as soon as October13th. SB 8-56 seeks to remove Palau's present ban in taking and selling the already threatened adult Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish by proposing a three month open fishing season. There's absolutely no environmental assessment to justify this. In fact, in 2006, Palau stipulated a total ban on the taking of these fish until a thorough non-detrimental finding could recommend altering their protected status; yet it's simply being ignored. The bill uses a "Palauan custom" excuse and a "local sale" provision to essentially legalize the extremely lucrative "blue gold" trade in live Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish.

 

The sale allowance in the bill can facilitate unimpeded transfer to the airport in Koror, where the airport's security would be able to ignore these fish going out as live cargo. In a previous post, I pointed out that former Palau President Kuniwo Nakamura -- a man whose fishing firm, Kuniyoshi Fishing Co., is historically linked to shark finning, tax-evasion, money-laundering, poaching, falsifying catch records, and illegally unloading catches offshore and overseas -- has ownership of the Belau Airport Security Company, a firm that was given a five year no-bid contract last December to control all security at Palau's airport.

• I wish there was some simpler, cyber "1- click" answer with this present situation, but only Senate Bill No. 8-44 lent itself to that approach. The pro-finning aspect of SB No. 8-44 was so obvious that I believe it was soon allowed to be a sacrificial diversion while the outrageously damaging SB No. 8-50 could be passed unseen. SB No. 8-56 achieves cover under the disingenuous guise of preserving tradition and culture.

 

It's vital for Palau to keep up the maintenance of its extraordinary reefs and to protect its fisheries from the schemes that that can only benefit a cabal of corrupt officials and reckless fishing firms at the permanent expense of the ocean and the islanders that depend on it. The vision of Palau's President with his UN manifesto can only be realized if we all become the momentum in getting back from the abyss.

 

• All congratulatory messages to President Toribiong - including your request for a rapid Executive Order to form an environmental task force to assess Senate Bills' No. 8-50 and No. 8-56 - stated from your own unique perspective and experience - can be sent to: rop.president@palaunet.com; and Cc'd to: pcoc@palaunet.com, bta@palaunet.com, and sharksanctuary@gmail.com

 

Thanks, Edward Dorson

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Imho, Bill 8-56 can be targetted with by "arm-chair conservationist" (me but need someone else -armed with facts & figures to write the petition!)... Obviously wrong to fish for Napoleon wrasses & bumphead parrotfish! Napoleon wrasse is only on CITES Appendix II (quite unfortunately).

Edited by xariatay

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Imho, Bill 8-56 can be targeted with by "arm-chair conservationist" (me but need someone else -armed with facts & figures to write the petition!)... Obviously wrong to fish for Napoleon wrasses & bumphead parrotfish! Napoleon wrasse is only on CITES Appendix II (quite unfortunately).

While I really want to go after Palau's disastrous SB No. 8-50 as well - which just passed through its second reading on September 29th (see my previous post, ebonites #3) - perhaps it's best to split them up:

 

Please feel free to use this as a petition text (whole or as a resource) to protest SB No. 8-56, the Palauan bill seeking to allow the taking and selling of Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish. I believe if you've spent just a few seconds under the turreted inspection of a Napoleon wrasse, you'd be compelled to prevent this bill's passage. Consider the inhumane aspect as well: in order to prove the Napoleon's freshness to the indifferent diner, these fish are often filleted in a manner to keep them alive as long as possible...with the still-beating heart on display for the well-heeled customer's satisfaction.

 

to:

President of the Republic of Palau

President Toribiong

• rop.president@palaunet.com

and

Members of the House of Delegates of the Eighth Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK)

HOD Speaker of the House

• oek-speaker@palaunet.com

HOD Clerk

• hod.clerk@ymail.com

 

Cc'd to:

Palau Conservation Society

• pcs@palaunet.com

Palau Chamber of Commerce

• pcoc@palaunet.com

Belau Tourism Association

• bta@palaunet.com

Palau Visitors Authority

pva@visit-palau.com

Palau Shark Sanctuary

• sharksanctuary@gmail.com

 

Dear President Toribiong and Members of the House of Delegates of the Eighth Olbiil Era Kelulau,

 

Unfortunately, while Palau has become a shining beacon to the world as the first national Shark Sanctuary, the Palau Senate has passed Bill No. 8-56 in its third and final reading. This bill allows the removal of the complete ban in the taking and selling of Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish. SB No. 8-56 is now before the House of Delegates in the House Committee on Maritime and Fisheries chaired by Delegate Tmewang Rengulbai. The next HOD session convenes with its second reading on the bill sometime this month. While Senate Bill No. 8-44 (which sought the repeal of the ban on shark fishing and finning) is now officially withdrawn, Senate Bill No. 8-56 is an ongoing assault on the spirit of conservation that Palau demonstrated with its Shark Sanctuary.

 

This has been very disturbing news for the 75% of all tourists that come to Palau as divers and/or snorkelers. The charismatic Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish are magnificent denizens of Palau's reefs, equal if not surpassing the patrolling sharks in their popularity with the visiting divers. The Napoleons have an air of splendor about them, and are often perceived as being the most "thoughtful" of fish. Divers and snorkelers repeatedly experiencing these living underwater treasures is a thousand times more profitable than the selling of these species for consumption.

 

Senate Bill No. 8-56 seeks to remove Palau's present ban in taking and selling adult Bumphead parrotfish (kemedukl) and Napoleon wrasse (maml) by proposing a three month open fishing season. There's absolutely no environmental assessment to justify this. These fish are endangered worldwide and Palau's population is particularly fragile. In fact, in 2006, Palau stipulated a total ban on the taking of these fish until a thorough non-detrimental finding could recommend altering their protected status.

By permitting the sale of these extremely valuable fish (up to US$2000 - priced at destination), this bill would encourage the highly lucrative live fish export trade. This is in direct opposition to the no-sale provision in Senate Bill No. 7-64 of 2005. As the average annual Palauan income is approximately US$7000, this bill invites a great incentive for unimpeded plunder, particularly during spawning aggregations. It's noteworthy that Palau's Senate didn't bother with any such sale provision in a similarly worded companion bill, SB No. 8-55, which allows for a hunting season of the Micronesian Imperial Pigeon (Belochel), with a current local black market price of US$15-20.

 

With this bill as law, capturing, not spearing, would be the chief method of "taking" these fish. This bill uses a "Palauan custom" justification to what's really an aid to the black market trade in live Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish (also known as the "blue gold" trade due to the coloration of these species). The "local sale" allowance in the bill can facilitate unimpeded transfer to the airport in Koror, where the airport's security firm* would be able to ignore these live fish going out as cargo. These extremely rare species would be air shipped alive to the restaurants of Singapore, Tokyo, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

* Kuniwo Nakamura - a man whose fishing firm, Kuniyoshi Fishing Co., is historically linked to tax-evasion, money laundering, shark finning, poaching, falsifying catch records, and illegally unloading catches offshore and overseas - has ownership of the Belau Airport Security Company, a firm that was given a five year no-bid contract last December to conduct all security at Palau's airport. Thus, Kuniwo Nakamura essentially has control of all air shipping activity in the Republic of Palau.

 

Along with devastating the remaining population of these fish, the typical method of cyanide capture would destroy all surrounding reef and other aquatic animals where it's deployed. Even where cyanide isn't used, without these "grazing" fish, the reef is much more prone to being smothered by algae. Napoleon wrasse are also one of only a few aquatic species that are vitally needed to prey upon the reef-eating Crown of Thorns starfish, now present in five areas of Palau.

 

As a diver, I'll always be stupefied by those that have no concern for our finite environment on our island planet in space, particularly when they're island people. Such gross short-sightedness with the Senate's passage of SB No. 8-56 can be seen as a clear breech in Palau's ecological and economical commitment to its new declaration as the world's first national Shark Sanctuary.

 

Please allow thoughtfulness and economic sense to promote the continuing example of Palau's leadership as stewards for the sea by withdrawing Senate Bill No. 8-56 in the House Committee on Maritime and Fisheries.

 

Sincerely, [your name, country]

Edited by ebonites

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Palau Napoleon & Bumphead Petition:

 

Please use this revised petition instead of my previous one re Palau's SB No. 8-56 (which sanctions the taking and selling of Napoleon Wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish). I've taken out some details better used in protest against Palau's SB 8-50):

 

 

Subject:

An Appeal for the Withdrawal of Bill No. 8-56

 

from:

[your name, country]

 

to:

- Johnson Toribiong, President of the Republic of Palau

rop.president@palaunet.com

and:

Members of the House of Delegates of the Eighth Olbiil Era Kelulau;

House Committee on Maritime and Fisheries; Delegate Tmewang Rengulbai, Chair

- HOD Speaker of the House

oek-speaker@palaunet.com

- HOD Clerk

hod.clerk@ymail.com

Cc'd to:

- Palau Conservation Society

pcs@palaunet.com

- Palau Chamber of Commerce

pcoc@palaunet.com

- Belau Tourism Association

bta@palaunet.com

- Palau Visitors Authority

pva@visit-palau.com

- Pelau Shark Sanctuary

sharksanctuary@gmail.com

 

 

Dear President Toribiong, Chairman Rengulbai, and Members of the House of Delegates of the Eighth Olbiil Era Kelulau:

 

 

I'm writing in protest to the Palau legislation that was passed as Senate Bill No. 8-56. This bill proposes to remove Palau's present total ban in the taking and selling of adult Bumphead parrotfish and Napoleon wrasse with a three month open taking and selling season. This is an ecological and economical tragedy in the making.

 

Although Palau has set a new environmental benchmark with its creation as the world's first national Shark Sanctuary, its Senate has passed Bill No. 8-56 in its third and final reading. SB No. 8-56 is now before the House of Delegates in the House Committee on Maritime and Fisheries. The next session can begin with the House's second (and a possible final third) reading within this month. Although SB No. 8-44 (the bill to repeal the ban on shark fishing and finning) is now withdrawn, 8-56 remains as a contradiction to the pledge of stewardship that Palau pronounced before all the world with President Toribiong's UN announcement.

This has been distressing news for the 75% of all the tourists that travel to Palau to dive and snorkel. The iconic Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish are premier attractions in Palau's waters, equal to, if not surpassing, the patrolling sharks in popularity. Napoleons and Bumpheads are seen as living treasures to divers, and they are as much a signature for Palau as are the sharks. Divers and snorkelers repeatedly experiencing these amazing species is a thousand-fold more profitable than their one-time sale as some dish to consume.

 

By permitting the sale of these extremely valuable fish, this bill would encourage the highly lucrative live fish export trade (priced as much as $2000 at destination). This is in direct opposition to the no-sale provision of this species in Senate Bill No. 7-64 of 2005. As the average annual Palauan income is approximately $7000, this bill invites a great incentive for unimpeded plunder, particularly during spawning aggregations that can occur during the open season.

 

Capturing, not killing, would be the chief method of "taking" these fish. This bill wrongly uses Palauan tradition as a justification to what will be an aid to the black market trade in live Napoleon wrasse and Bumphead parrotfish (infamously known as the "blue gold" trade). The "local sale" allowance in the bill facilitates this, where the outcome will result in intensive black market smuggling for these species to feed the insatiable demand for live fish in other nation's expensive restaurants.

 

Because of this "blue gold" trade, these species are greatly depleted globally and Palau's population is a fragile target. In 2006, Palau wisely declared a total ban on the taking of these species until a scientifically conducted non-detrimental finding could recommend any change from their fully protected status. Incredibly, this legal requirement has been completely ignored in the Senate's bill.

 

Another consideration in sancioning the taking of the remaining population of these fish is the typical method of easy capture using cyanide, which kills all the surrounding reef and other aquatic life where it is used. Even where cyanide isn't used, without these grazing fish, the reef is much more likely to being smothered by algae; particularly while stressed by a warming event like the El Nino in 1998. One third of your reefs were severely damaged, yet the "grazers" were able to help restore the corals before they perished forever. Napoleon wrasse are also of great benefit as one of only a few animals that prey upon the reef-destroying Crown of Thorns seastar, now present in several areas of Palau.

 

The negative economic repercussions from prospective visitors can't be overstated with this standing bill. Those who wanted to depend on Palau as a desirable dive oasis are now feeling betrayed with the Senate's passage of SB No. 8-56. Great promise was instilled with Palau's UN declaration as the world's first national Shark Sanctuary. I respectfully ask that you use your best judgment to continue Palau's momentum in its bold pursuit of respite and restoration. Please allow Senate Bill No. 8-56 to be stopped from causing further harm by withdrawing it in the House Committee on Maritime and Fisheries.

 

Sincerely, [your name, country]

Edited by ebonites

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ebonites, GREAT! Thanks!!!

Can I share it on my Facebook? To whom should I credit this petition to?

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ebonites, GREAT! Thanks!!!

Can I share it on my Facebook? To whom should I credit this petition to?

 

Thanks for your words of appreciation. Look for a PM from me to arrive within 24 hours. I'll be sending you a more trimmed down petition letter (with a credit) for you to share on Facebook.

I've given this some thought - perhaps this can be more than a cut and paste petition (if it isn't already) - at least here among divers and UW photographers. For those who wish to take a writing campaign a step further, it's best to use what I've written as a working framework to be personalized by separate individuals.

Please put your name in the introductory sentence. Feel free to add a passage of your own experiences on the reef, and what these particular species means to you in terms of wanting to come to Palau.

 

In order to best influence Palau's lawmakers to withdraw this destructive legislation, email your letters with your voice calling for maintaining their total protection. Choose the fonts, text color, and layout the way you would want it to appear. You can edit out any passages that may seem redundant, or alter the order of paragraphs as long as it still makes sense. A few moments of customization makes the letters powerful individual expressions.

Letters with this kind of customization are accorded more respect than obviously cloned form letters. The effort it takes is a little bit larger. But the potential for making an actual difference will be magnified significantly.

 

 

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