Palau National Marine Sanctuary
Established: October 2015
Location: 7°20.5167′N 134°28.75′E (coordinates for Palau)
Size: 500,000 km2 | 193,000 mi2
Website: In production
On October 28, 2015, President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr. signed into law the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Act, one of the world’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives to date aimed at not only protecting Palau’s marine resources, but also at protecting the world’s tuna stocks. Currently, PNMS is one of the world's top-10 fully protected areas.
This landmark legislation creates a no-take Marine Sanctuary covering 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in which no fishing will occur, and creates a Domestic Fishing Zone covering approximately 20% of Palau’s EEZ in which traditional and domestic fishing activities will be allowed to provide fish solely for the domestic market.
The PNMS builds on Palau's long history of effective fisheries management through the local practice of bul. Through this tradition, the Council of Chiefs has strategically placed restrictions on fishing in vulnerable reef areas to protect biodiversity and the food security of their people. The Sanctuary also extends the tradition of Bul to cover the entire EEZ of Palau and protect their precious marine resources for all Palauans.