Research by PICRC and partners suggests tuna and marlin are well protected by the PNMS

With increasing fishing pressures and a rapidly changing climate, marine protection is critical for the sustainability of our ocean’s resources. Palau is the first country to create a marine sanctuary encompassing 80% of its EEZ. The Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), is one of the largest in the world and was established to ensure long-term food security, protect marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and increase Palau’s socio-ecological resilience to climate change.

Still, important questions remain about the extent to which the PNMS will provide protection for highly mobile species such as tuna and billfish, which are a major focus of the local fishery. Effective management under the PNMS depends upon understanding the amount of time these fishes spend within the sanctuary, the extent of their migrations, and the importance of Palau as a spawning and nursery area for these species. read more

PICRC joins Rubekul Belau for Christmas luncheon and presentation

 On December 19, 2017, PICRC staff and board members joined the Rubekul Belau’s annual Christmas luncheon to present recent research results. During the luncheon, Chief Aquarist Asap Bukurrou, shared findings from the research highlighting the threat of sea-level rise and impact of increased typhoons on Melekeok coastline.

“It is good to see the hard work and solid research that the Center has been conducting regarding our reefs,” expressed Paramount High Chief Reklai, “but it frightens me to hear what the future may hold. This research is useful for us to start preparation to deal with the impact of climate change.” read more

Ilebrang Olkeriil named director of the new Aquarium Department at PICRC

On October 27, 2017, the PICRC board of Directors reorganized the Center’s structure to separate the Research and Aquarium Department into two separate departments. PICRC’s research programs have grown significantly in the past few years, making it necessary to separate the department.  Creating two unique departments will ensure that both Research and Aquarium receive the attention and focus they need as they continue to grow and improve.

On December 11, 2017, Ilebrang U. Olkeriil was appointed as the new Aquarium Director.  Ms. Olkeriil has been the Development Coordinator, for the past two years.  In this new position, Ms. Olkeriil will be responsible for overseeing the Palau Aquarium as well as the Aquarium’s Giant Clam Gift Shop. read more

PICRC hosts JICA training course on coastal and marine conservation

Coastal and marine ecosystems across the globe are becoming devastated by numerous factors such as land-based pollution, tourism, unsustainable fishing practices and climate change. As a result, some countries have implemented conservation initiatives to combat these threats. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) began a three-year training program, “Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Conservation through Collaborative Management of Marine Protected Areas” to share knowledge and experiences on coastal ecosystem conservation to develop human resources for the sustainability of marine ecosystems. read more

House of Delegates to co-host PICRC’s 17th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner Gala

The House of Delegates of the Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau will co-host the Palau International Coral Reef Center’s (PICRC) 17th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner Gala. With the theme ‘People First through Conservation’ it is most fitting that the 17th Anniversary Fundraising Dinner Gala be co-hosted by the House of Delegates, the Peoples’ House.  The House of Delegates has provided unwavering support to the states, communities and the people of Palau.

In a letter to PICRC, Speaker Sabino Anastacio affirms the House of Delegates will co-host this year’s anniversary. “We are honored to partner with Palau International Coral Reef Center and believe that the work PICRC does on behalf of the Republic of Palau is of the utmost importance to the health and welfare of our people and our environment,” expresses Speaker Sabino Anastacio in his letter. read more