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The Northern Reef Project is home to some of Palau's most productive fishing grounds and encompasses a total of 3,930 Km of territorial waters pertaining to the states of Kayangel and Ngarchelong. Its waters include important habitats of coral reef systems, barrier reef, patch reefs, sea grass, nesting beaches, unique atoll forests; and offer spawning and aggregation sites for nationally protected fish species and breeding areas for seabirds among other species. Given the decline in fisheries, both states have recently established marine law enforcement programs to reverse trends and protect their near shore territorial waters (12NM). This report analyzes the legal framework, competencies and jurisdictions of all marine enforcement agencies in order to design an enforcement system for the Northern Reef project that is practical, affordable and feasible to implement over a four-year timeframe. While it is the responsibility of each state to implement activities according to their respective timelines, it would behoove them to develop their programs in tandem given their similar stage in development and the synergies afforded through cooperation. The final enforcement system design provides strategic sensor coverage to key fishing areas, MPAs and access ways. The strategy combines high-power video cameras and a robust VHF marine radio network with the strategic placement of buoys, patrol vessels and a floating barge to provide a constant presence and fast response capacity throughout both Marine Managed Areas (MMAs). All CAPEX and OPEX decisions were made in consideration of a highly limited budget, which is currently underwritten by the Protected Areas Network (PAN). More importantly, there is a defined a blueprint of critical steps for the capacity building and professionalization of the Rangers, who truly are the core component of the Northern Reef enforcement program.
Conservation and Community Investment Forum;
Palau has a long-standing conservation and management ethic, as evidenced by a traditional management mechanism (e.g., bul) that has led to a growing marine protected area (MPA) network and some minimal) fisheries management interventions, such as seasonal closures. Looking forward, there is a need to secure the longevity, sovereign management, and effectiveness of relevant fisheries management and protected area efforts that has potential to be enhanced by the countries fast growing tourism industry.
California Environmental Associates;
This report is the 2015 baseline edition of what is intended to be a regular series for monitoring and tracking relevant changes in coastal marine resources and fisheries management in Palau. Since the objective is to update the report on a regular basis, this baseline report tracks data for the most recent year available by each indicator.
The Pew Charitable Trusts;
Caring for the environment has long been an important part of Palau's culture. For centuries, traditional leaders on these Pacific Ocean islands have worked to protect local waters through enactment of a "bul"—a moratorium on catching key species or fishing on certain reefs to protect habitats that are critical to the community's food security.When Palau became an independent nation in 1994, its founders wrote in the constitution about the need for "conservation of a beautiful, healthful, and resourceful natural environment."Palau's waters are worth protecting. Commonly referred to as one of the seven underwater wonders of the world, they boast ecosystems of remarkable biodiversity, which include:More than 1,300 species of fish.More than 400 species of hard coral and 300 species of soft coral.Seven of the world's nine types of giant clam.Lakes that are home to nonstinging jellyfish.The most plant and animal species in Micronesia.Today, Palau is again taking a leading role by moving to create a modern-day bul that puts the marine environment first. On Oct. 28, 2015, after unanimous passage in the National Congress, President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. signed into law the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, establishing one of the world's largest protected areas of ocean.The sanctuary will fully protect about 80 percent of the nation's maritime territory, a higher percentage than in any other country. Full protection means that no extractive activities, such as fishing or mining, can take place. The reserve will be the sixth-largest on Earth, covering 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles)—an area bigger than the U.S. state of California.
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS);
Over the last 20 years, ecotourism to view and interact with marine megafauna has become increasingly popular (Higham and Lück 2008). Examples of this type of tourism include turtle and whale watching, snorkelling with seals and shark diving (Jacobson and Robles 1992; Anderson and Ahmed 1993; Orams 2002; Kirkwood et al. 2003; Dearden et al. 2008; Dicken and Hosking 2009). The occurrence of many aggregations of megafauna along the coasts of regional areas remote from centres of population means that such tourism also provides significant flow-on effects and diversification to local economies where few alternative sources of income exist (Milne 1990; Garrod and Wilson 2004). Importantly, the development of a well-managed ecotourism industry based on megafauna provides the opportunity for local people to utilise natural resources in a sustainable manner over the long-term (Mau 2008). The economic value of tourism based on marine megafauna is enormous. In 2008, a study of whale watching estimated that this form of tourism was available in 119 countries, involved approximately 13 million participants and generated an income to operators and supporting businesses (hotels, restaurants and souvenirs) of over US$2.1 billion (O'Connor et al. 2009). This industry is estimated to have the potential to generate annual revenues of over US$2.5 billion (Cisneros-Montemayor et al. 2010). The development of whale watching has been paralleled by growth in tourism based on other types of marine megafauna. In particular, tourism to observe sharks and rays has become increasingly common. At the forefront of this relatively new market are industries that focus on whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) with estimates calculated in 2004 suggesting that these generated more than US$47.5 million worldwide, providing important revenues to developing countries such as Ecuador, Thailand and Mozambique (Graham 2004). Diving with other species of sharks has followed a similar trend of growing popularity. In 2005, it was estimated that approximately 500,000 divers were engaged in shark-diving activities worldwide (Topelko and Dearden 2005). An increasing range of opportunities for this type of tourism are available, including cage diving, shark feeding and drift diving with reef and oceanic sharks. Shark-diving tourism can be found in more than 40 countries (Carwardine and Watterson 2002), with new destinations and target species being established rapidly, due to the increasing recognition of the economic potential of this activity (Dicken and Hosking 2009; De la Cruz Modino et al. 2010).
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);
This document presents case studies of the policy, governance and institutional issues of marine protected areas (MPAs) in South America (Northeastern)-Brazil; India, Palau and Senegal. It is the first of four in a global series of case studies on MPAs. An initial volume provides a synthesis and analysis of all the studies. The set of global MPA case studies was designed to close a deficit in information on the governance of MPAs and spatial management tools, within both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation contexts. The studies examine governance opportunities in and constraints on the use of spatial management measures at the national level. They were also designed to inform implementation of the FAO Technical Guidelines on marine protected areas (MPAs) and fisheries, which were developed to provide information and guidance on the use of MPAs in the context of fisheries.
Secretariat of the Pacific Community;
These guidelines have been developed to meet the aspirations of Pacific Island countries (PIC) as stated in the Pacific Islands regional coastal fisheries management policy and strategic actions (known as the Apia Policy) in which authorities agreed to take steps to achieve healthy ecosystems and sustainable stock of fish. These guidelines have been produced to describe how an EAF can be merged with community-based fisheries management (CBFM) in PICs. This merger of approaches is referred to in these guidelines as the community-based ecosystem approach to fisheries management (CEAFM), and represents a combination of three different perspectives; namely, fisher-es management, ecosystem management and community-based management. CEAFM is the management of fisheries, within an ecosystem context, by local communities working with government and other partners. The main requirement for such a merger is the involvement of a broader range of stakeholders and access to the expertise and experience of several government agencies in addition to a fisheries agency. CEAFM is not seen as a replacement for current fisheries management but an extension that combines a high degree of community and other stakeholder participation to minimise the impacts of fishing and other activities on ecosystems. In addition to fishing activities, coastal ecosystems in many PICs are affected by excessive shoreline development and by coastal waters that contain high levels of nutrients and silt. CEAFM aims to involve the participation of community stakeholders to ensure that future generations of Pacific Island people will continue to have access to the benefits associated with sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO);
The legal environment within which community-based fisheries management (CBFM) will function should be examined to determine whether it supports or will need necessary enhancement to support the implementation of CBFM. The question as to whether CBFM is legally sustainable must be asked with regard to the whole legal framework of the State – from fundamental laws, such as the constitution, to subsidiary legislation. Amendments to existing legislation or new legislation may be necessary to implement CBFM. There is no blueprint for a CBFM legal framework what number of rights with respect to fish resources should be accorded and what should be the level of participation by the local community. It is important, however, to ensure that the constitutionality of all these aspects is ascertained, and to ensure that enabling legislation for CBFM consider the following issues: security, exclusivity and permanence of rights vested; flexibility of its provisions so as to allow states to exercise choices that reflect their unique needs, conditions and aspirations for CBFM; and the way CBFM harmonizes with the overall fisheries management legal framework. Attaining the right balance in the CBFM legal framework, however, is difficult and depends largely on local circumstances. There is much interest in using customary marine tenure (CMT) as a basis for CBFM in the Pacific Island Countries (PICs). The laws of PICs lend general support to the use of CMT or tradition in fisheries management. Still, only modest efforts in the use of CMT-based community fisheries management in the PICs are observed. Further legislative action can enhance CMT use in community fisheries management. Broad lessons can be drawn from the experiences of some PICs in legislating on CMT or certain of its aspects to enhance CMT use. Government commitment to CBFM generally, and for the role of CMT in the CBFM context with support from interested entities and stakeholders including communities, will complement efforts for promoting sustainable utilization of fisheries resources and improved livelihoods in the PICs. Keywords: community-based fisheries management, customary marine tenure, fisheries legislation, legal frameworks, Pacific Island Countries.
Locally-Managed Marine Area Network;
The Community Storybook is a collection of lessons, tips and experiences shared during the Community Exchange session at the 2008 LMMA Network-wide Meeting in Fiji. It is not intended as a comprehensive guide for community-based adaptive management (CBAM), but rather as a record capturing the key points from conversations shared by participants. It is intenteded to be strateigically introduced to communities -- that is, as part of a workshop or community awareness event, rather then simply handed out indiscriminately. We recommend to the folks on the ground who are introducing it (partners, country coordinators, etc.) to leave ample time for elaboration and discussion of the tips provided in the storybook, particularly the more sensitive or debatable ones.