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.