Euotelel a Klingil a Debel Belau (Palau National Marine Sanctuary)
On January 1, 2020, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) went into effect, closing 80% of Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to all forms of extractive activities including all types of fishing. Referred to in Palauan as Euotelel a Klingil a Debel Belau, the PNMS is among the world’s biggest marine protected areas. The remaining 20% of Palau’s EEZ is designated as a Domestic Fishing Zone (DFZ) that will support food security and bringing more economic benefits to the people of Palau.
PNMS Map – Simplified
PNMS Map – Official Map from Palau Automated Land and Resource Information System (PALARIS)
The Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), with the passage of Republic of Palau Public Law (RPPL) 10-35, was mandated with the administration of PNMS and coordination of research, outreach and education activities. PICRC is committed to working towards the successful administration of the PNMS, for the benefit of current and future generations of Palau.
To read more about the “Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Act Overview,” click HERE.
“Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary: Managing Ocean Change and Supporting Food Security; Report of an Expert Working Group Convened by PICRC and COS”
The Palau International Coral Reef Center, in January 2019, began a working partnership with the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions to provide essential data and information on the current state of affairs for the PNMS, and the latest relevant research in the fields of fisheries, socio-economics, and ecology. A report, entitled “Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary: Managing Ocean Change and Supporting Food Security; Report of an Expert Working Group Convened by PICRC and COS,” was published in December 2019. It is accessible below, along with an executive summary, appendices, and the PNMS Science Plan.
- Full Report
- Executive Summary
- Appendix A: Palau’s Maritime Governance Overview
- Appendix B: Towards Strengthening Palau’s Domestic Fishery Sector
- Appendix C: Science, Monitoring, and Evaluation: Operationalizing the PNMS Policies
- Appendix D: PNMS Science Plan Summary
- Science Plan
Interested individuals may also read about the report and the working group on the Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions website here.
Sister Sanctuary: The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa
On September 22, 2020, a special partnership was formed: the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS), and the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMSAS) became Sister Sanctuaries. This agreement, solidified by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), the administrator of the PNMS, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the administrator of NMSAS.
The purpose of the Sister Sanctuary partnership is to strengthen partnership between small island states seeking to protect large areas of their oceans, as well as facilitate the exchange of ideas, personnel, and resources.
National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa official website: Visit here
MOU between PICRC and NOAA: Visit here
Updates on the PNMS
Since January 1, 2020, work on the Palau National Marine Sanctuary for its successful implementation continues. See news articles and press releases below which document the progress.
January 1, 2020: PNMS Act enters into full force with the start of a new decade
February 7, 2020: Building capacity for Offshore Fisheries to address food security issues
February 21, 2020: Socio-economic research begins for PNMS
March 10, 2020: PICRC researcher co-authors fishery publication
April 16, 2020: PICRC research helps provide recommendations for Fish Aggregating Device site selection while improving our understanding of yellowfin tuna biology
August 26, 2020: The Future of Our Oceans is in Our Hands: An update on PNMS Euotelel a Klingil a Debel Belau
October 7, 2020: PICRC updates Rubekul Belau on conservation, sustainability, and research projects
October 19, 2020: PICRC launches its school program during PNMS Anniversary week
November 11, 2020: BMR deploys Fishing Aggregation Device in Aimeliik
December 29, 2020: PICRC welcomes Jeremiah Ngiratreged as newest employee
December 22, 2020: PICRC signs MOU to establish Sister Sanctuaries with American Samoa
March 29, 2021: King Sam joins PICRC as the new Director for Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS)
April 15, 2021: New opportunities and partnerships to strengthen management of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary
April 22, 2021: Dr. Louw Claassens joins PICRC to lead its PNMS Science and Monitoring Program
June 14, 2021: Project on Palau National Marine Sanctuary officially launched
August 9, 2021: Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish and Wildlife Protection and PICRC conducts joint enforcement surveillance and eDNA Research in the PNMS
September 8, 2021: PICRC Researchers Set Sail into the PNMS for a New eDNA Monitoring Project
September 23, 2021: PICRC Partners with BOFI to Study Tuna Spawning in the PNMS
November 8, 2021: Palau National Marine Sanctuary Celebrates Sixth Anniversary at Kokusai, Ngatpang
November 22, 2021: Students Join Division of Maritime Security and Fish and Wildlife Protection for Educational Surveillance Tour Aboard PSS Remeliik II
February 7, 2022: Steering Committee for Project to Strengthen the PNMS Endorses 2022 Annual Work Plan and Budget
February 14, 2022: PICRC Researchers Record Life on Palau’s Ocean Floor Using Deep-Sea Camera Systems
March 11, 2022: Pacific Ocean Connections Highlighted in International Ocean Sciences Meeting
March 31, 2022: PICRC Gives Virtual PNMS Tour for Students with Pacific Exchange Network
June 19, 2022: PICRC Supports First Ever Rubekul Belau Forum