Palau approves new massive marine reserve

Palau Rock Islands

by Alan Yeung 2015-10-27

On Thursday Palau’s Congress approved the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Act, making good on a pledge made by President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. in 2014, for Palau to protect 193,000 square miles (500,000 square kilometers), or 80 percent of the Pacific island nation’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or the territorial waters that it controls.

The new sanctuary will exclude all extractive activities, such as mining, and industrial-scale fishing and exports of catches.

President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. indicated he would sign the measure into law as soon as posssible, thus establishing Palau as one of the world’s leading nations in marine conservation.  Palau now leads the world in terms of setting aside the highest percentage of its EEZ for full marine protection.

According to NGS  Palau is host to more than 1,300 species of fish and 700 species of coral.

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Steve Palumbi visits HKU

Stanford marine scientist visits the University of Hong Kong

by TNP Editor 2015-10-7

In a lagoon around Ofu, an island in the South Pacific, marine biologist Steve Palumbi is snorkeling. Here, the sea temperature is much warmer, and Steve could stay in all day. While warm water is good for humans it is not so good for corals. With the heat, these corals shouldn’t have lived. Instead, they are thriving, and Steve wants to know why.

Through DNA analysis, Steve discovers that these corals survive by changing their gene expression. That, according to Steve, may offer hope for corals here and elsewhere to withstand the impact of climate change.

As Professor of Biology and Director of Hopkins Marine Station at Stanford University, Steve has been advancing marine sciences, protecting natural resources, and educating and raising awareness for conservation.

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