Friday, March 22, 2013

Palau - Proposal for a Marine Sanctuary!

Tommy Remengesau - a visionary?

The president of Palau is proposing to declare Palau's entire EEZ a marine sanctuary where any commercial fishing would be banned.

Prima vista, it sounds like a great initiative.
It is undoubtedly so that those distant water fleets are pillaging the Pacific without any regard for sustainability and against totally inadequate compensation - and I'm not only talking about Japan and Taiwan but very much also the USA and Europe! With that in mind, one should really finally tell them to fuck off.

But is a total fishing ban really the best solution?
Would it not be way smarter to start developing a local commercial fleet, to fish sustainably, process the Fish in Palau and then sell it offshore? After all, if managed properly, Fish are a totally renewable resource and truly sustainable fishing does not harm biodiversity - so why deprive the country of this income and the tourists, of their Lobster Thermidor?
Hell, defining and implementing 100% sustainable fishing quotas and techniques with the aid of some reputable NGOs would be a great project and propel Palau right to the top of visionary fishing nations!

Or am I missing something here?


Anonymous said...

Mike, did you really suggest that NGOs can help set fishing quotas? Are you really advocating that a government should leave the management of natural resources to NGOs?

DaShark said...

Yes NGOs could definitely be of assistance - and no I'm not suggesting that governments relinquish the management to them!

Right now, the fishing quotas of those small cash-strapped governments are essentially being defined by the fishing interests, and by politics - and we've seen the results.

So if Palau is already pondering zero commercial fishing, why not implement true sustainability instead - and why not for once fully follow the advice of the researchers and reputable marine conservation advocates.

You got a problem with that?

Angelo Villagomez said...

NEWSFLASH: NGOs already help set fishing quotas.

DaShark said...

You don't say... :)

But they are of mostly one voice among many, and their advice is rarely being heeded.

Angelo Villagomez said...

Yeah, to varying degrees depending on the fisheries body.

Also the comment about turning over management to NGOs is silly. That's a function of government.

DaShark said...

A silly comment - my oh my... :)

Correct, and I of course never suggested that.
What I was advocating was defining and implementing 100% sustainable fishing quotas and techniques with the aid of some reputable NGOs - and I still believe that, and closing commercial fishing to foreign interests to be a vastly superior endeavor to an outright ban.