Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

ZMT-Expert supports the implementation of the ambitious marine reserve in Palau

17.01.2020

On 1 January 2020, the island state of Palau implemented one of the world's largest and most ambitious marine protected areas in its territorial waters. The international advisory team of experts also included an ecologist from the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT).

On 1 January 2020, the island state of Palau implemented an unparalleled marine sanctuary in its territorial waters: the Palau National Marine Sanctuary. It is one of the largest and most ambitious marine national parks in the world.


Coral reef off Babeldaob, the largest island of Palau

Photo: Sebastian Ferse, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research


The wall of a traditional community house in Palau shows the locals' attachment to the sea

Photo: Sebastian Ferse, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research

80 % of Palau's exclusive economic zone, an area of almost 500,000 square kilometres, will no longer be accessible to fishing, while the remaining 20 % is reserved exclusively for domestic fishing.

Previously, an international team of scientists and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations had come together to develop a research and action plan that would serve as a guideline for the implementation of the project.

The multidisciplinary group also included experts from the international project Future Earth Coasts, whose headquarters have been located at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) since 2019.

The Pacific island state of Palau lies on the northern edge of the so-called Coral Triangle, one of the world's most species-rich marine regions. Its waters have remarkably healthy marine ecosystems, hosting more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral, as well as sea turtles, mantas, seabirds, whales and sharks.

A profitable source of income for the state has so far been the sale of licences for tuna fishing. This should come to an end: "Our future is in tourism, not tuna", President Remengesau announced.

The island state now only allows its own fleet to fish in a small area that makes up 20% of its territorial waters. A narrow strip of sea around the islands is reserved for artisanal fishing for the nutritional requirements of Palau´s inhabitants, and the huge remaining area of 500,000 km² is under nature protection.

"For its future, Palau is committed to sustainable ecotourism in the higher price segment. The increasingly rare opportunity to dive in well-preserved reefs or observe a breathtaking marine fauna is a strong tourist magnet," explains Sebastian Ferse, Managing Director of Future Earth Coasts at ZMT and one of the consulting experts.

"The resources from its territorial waters are intended to benefit the country itself and tourism, and exports are to be minimized".

Marine protected areas are not uncommon in the Pacific, but only a few fulfil their purpose. In most cases, there is a lack of money, personnel, or support of the authorities to enforce regulations. Locals do not feel involved in decisions and therefore do not follow the rules. Palau's National Park, on the other hand, offers reason for hope.

The local population shows a strong attachment to its unspoiled marine environment and is proud to be a fishing nation. Guided by the village elders, the clans on the islands have for centuries maintained careful resource management in their traditional fisheries. Monitoring such a large protected area is logistically challenging; it requires technology such as drones and a well-equipped motorboat flotilla. But the project does not lack international support, such as from the USA.

"Our advisory team of experts has tried to bring together all available information so that the Palauan government can make informed decisions, but also to identify uncertainties and further research needs," says Sebastian Ferse. "This is a very ambitious initiative, and the outcome depends in part on developments that are currently difficult to predict. If the marine sanctuary is successful, it will set a signal for efforts to protect the oceans in other countries".

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr. Sebastian Ferse
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research
Tel: 0421 / 23800-114
Email: sebastian.ferse@leibniz-zmt.de

Dr. Susanne Eickhoff | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.leibniz-zmt.de

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Study suggests LEGO bricks could survive in ocean for up to 1,300 years
17.03.2020 | University of Plymouth

nachricht Wearing clothes could release more microfibers to the environment than washing them
12.03.2020 | University of Plymouth

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Junior scientists at the University of Rostock invent a funnel for light

Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.

The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.

Im Focus: Stem Cells and Nerves Interact in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer Progression

Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.

Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....

Im Focus: Artificial solid fog material creates pleasant laser light

An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications

With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...

Im Focus: Cross-technology communication in the Internet of Things significantly simplified

Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.

Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...

Im Focus: Peppered with gold

Research team presents novel transmitter for terahertz waves

Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020” takes place over the internet

26.03.2020 | Event News

Most significant international Learning Analytics conference will take place – fully online

23.03.2020 | Event News

MOC2020: Fraunhofer IOF organises international micro-optics conference in Jena

03.03.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

3D printer sensors could make breath tests for diabetes possible

27.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

TU Bergakademie Freiberg researches virus inhibitors from the sea

27.03.2020 | Life Sciences

The Venus flytrap effect: new study shows progress in immune proteins research

27.03.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>