World Tuna Day 2021: A focus on protecting Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary

by Bernadette Carreon | 3 May 2021 | News

Reefs in Palau - Rebecca Gruby

Palau is building its capacity to ensure a consistent supply of tuna to its own people.

Most tuna fished in Palau’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has been exported into the sashimi market, and locals have been left with rejects and low-grade fish. But now, with the Palau National Marine Sanctuary protecting 80% of the country’s EEZ, the Palau is building its domestic tuna fishery. The director of the marine sanctuary, King Sam, says it’s longline vessel will be joined early next year by a pole-and-line vessel. Belau Offshore Fishers supplies the domestic market. Its president, Okada Techiton, says the company is improving freezing capacity so that, when fresh fish is no longer available, there will always be a supply of frozen tuna and other ocean fish. 

This 3.5 minute video reports on efforts to protect Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary now that foreign fishing fleets have left. Bernadette Carreon reports on progress and Richard Brooks videos and produces this special report on World Tuna Day.

Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency logo for World Tuna Day 2021 shows a tuna decorated with Pacific Island motifs with a sea of tuna behind it