A new report titled, “Palau’s larger MPAs have higher fish biomass than smaller ones” has been released by the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC). The report provides results of PICRC’s study on the status and trends of the natural resources within the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) that are part of the Palau’s Protected Areas Network (PAN). One of the most significant findings from this study was that larger MPAs have higher fish biomass compared to the smaller MPAs in Palau. One possible explanation for this result is that in larger MPAs, fish have more area to roam as they grow larger and look for food, versus in smaller MPAs they must leave the protected area to feed.
The study was carried out from 2014 to 2015, with follow-up assessments from 2017 to 2018. The 13 PAN MPAs that were studied were in the states of Aimeliik, Airai, Angaur, Kayangel, Koror, Melekeok, Ngarchelong, Ngardmau, Ngatpang, Ngchesar, Ngeremlengui, Ngiwal, and Peleliu. Recommendations for better MPA management are included in the report. The full report is now available on PICRC website: (http://picrc.org/picrcpage/technicalreports/) for anyone who wishes to get a copy.