|INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU|
LOCATION AND MAIN LANDING PLACES
from Palau's coastal commercial fisheries (estimated at 865 t in 1999)
are mainly made in and around the capital of Koror. Subsistence fishery
landings (estimated at 1250 t in 1999) occur throughout the coastal areas
and outer islands of the country.
landings by principal site (tonnes)
of the landings from the industrial tuna fishery (about 2,500 t annually
in recent years) are made at Koror and subsequently air freighted to Japan
or transshipped by sea to other destinations.
SECTOR OVERVIEW: BROAD OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
broad objectives in the marine resources sector have been identified by
the government of
Overview of government management strategy
In the broadest sense the government management strategy is for the national government to manage those marine resources in an Extended Fishery Zone (12 to 200 nautical miles offshore) while the State and lower levels of governments carry out management within 12 nautical miles. This is enshrined in Section 2 of the national constitution:
state shall have exclusive ownership of all living and non-living resources,
except highly migratory fish, from the land to twelve (12) nautical miles
seaward from the traditional baselines; provided, however, that traditional
fishing rights and practices shall not be impaired.”
the offshore areas the main national strategy has been to formulate and
progressively implement a tuna management plan. In the past, active management
has largely consisted of obtaining access payments for tuna fishing and
encouraging the local basing of foreign fishing vessels.
inshore management strategy is a mixture of traditional management, conventional
fisheries restrictions, marine reserves, and export bans. Many of the
inshore strategies have been developed, and some times implemented, in
cooperation with local and overseas NGOs.
Offshore tuna fisheries management system
1999 the National Tuna Fisheries Management Plan was formulated for
· Skipjack tuna, Katsuwonus pelamis
· Yellowfin tuna, Thunnus albacares
Bigeye tuna, Thunnus obesus
addition, this management system covers incidental by-catch and their
resource and economic implications. The plan states that it is not limited
to specific tuna fisheries issues; it includes relevant social, economic,
administrative, and policy implications important to
The three tuna species are also covered under several regional management arrangements and are soon to be covered under one international management arrangement. The regional management arrangements are:
The National Tuna Fisheries Management Plan has seven stated objectives. The objectives and associated strategies for achieving them are:
1. Conserve fishery resources by controlling harvesting within international and regional recognized limits. Strategies: (a) input controls, (b) stipulation of criteria for requirements for registering a Palauan tuna vessel, (c) licensing, (d) applying the regionally agreed Minimum Terms and Conditions of Access.
2. Establish an efficient government framework to harmonize the application of fisheries management polices and practices. Strategies: (a) establishment of the Palau Fisheries Policy Advisory Committee, (b) designation of the Bureau of Public Safety Division of Marine Law Enforcement as the national entity to enforce all national fisheries regulations.
3. Minimize detrimental impacts of fishing on coastal and inshore environment. Strategies: (a) the Environmental Quality Protection Board to initiate a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate enforcement of national and state environmental legislation, (b) implementation of a Tuna Fishery Environmental Management Plan.
4. Attain an optimum balance in relation to access and use of the resource between all stakeholders. Strategies: (a) establish priorities in the licensing of tuna vessels, with Palauan vessels having unlimited access, and locally based-foreign vessels the next priority with foreign-based foreign vessels having lowest priority, (b) prohibition of all foreign tuna vessels from within 12 nautical miles of coastal baselines and prohibition of foreign-based foreign tuna vessels from within a 50 nautical mile radius of Malakal Harbor.
5. Enhance the overall economic balance between the necessity for government to generate revenue, the financial expectations of commercial tuna fishery interests, and the interests of other users of the resource. Strategies: (a) the agreements with the three locally-based tuna companies are to be made consistent, (b) consolidation of the many fees/taxes into a simple license fee, (c) creation of a stable investment environment.
Promote the employment of Palauans
in professional, administrative, research, and development positions in
both the tuna industry and related government agencies. Strategies: (a)
enhance knowledge through training, (b) promote value added products to
enhance employment opportunities .
main measures which are actively applied at present to manage the offshore
fisheries are: (1) licensing foreign tuna vessels and collection of access
fees, (2) exclusion of foreign tuna vessels from fishing within 12 nautical
miles of the coastal baselines, (3) enforcement of environmental regulations
dealing with the locally-based foreign fleet while in port (oil spills,
rubbish dumping, sewage disposal), and (4) taxation of tuna exports.
It is premature to judge the effectiveness of the measures stipulated in the Plan as it has not yet been fully implemented. Specific measures, such as the licensing of foreign vessels and collection of access fees, have been in place for almost two decades. They appear to be reasonably successful but any increase in effectiveness is likely to require a large increase in expenditure on patrols of the tuna fishing grounds.
According to the National Tuna Fisheries Management Plan, several entities are responsible for enforcing the various management measures. The Bureau of Public Safety Division of Marine Law Enforcement (MLE) is the overall national entity to coordinate the enforcement of all national fisheries regulations. For licensing issues, the MLE coordinates with the Palau Maritime Agency of the Ministry of Resources and Development, and for inshore marine pollution issues with the Environmental Quality Protection Board.
mechanism for stakeholder input in the National Tuna Fisheries Management
Plan is through the Palau Fisheries Policy Advisory Committee. The PFPAC
is comprised of all major stakeholders in the tuna fishery, including
the private sector. The Plan was
formulated by the Development Committee for a Palau National Tuna Management
Plan which also had broad stakeholder participation, including the private
is acquired for management decisions in a number of ways. Licensed operators
are obliged to record and submit daily records of fishing activity, including
of catch of all species and fishing effort. From time to time licensed
operators are required to carry an observer who collects information on
fishing activities for stock assessment, research and monitoring purposes.
The Marine Resources Division works in cooperation with SPC to collect
length-frequency, catch composition and species composition data,
for the purposes of logbook data validation, stock assessment and research.
There are currently four port samplers in
Inshore fisheries management system
is no well-articulated “management system” for the inshore fisheries in
The management system covers a vast array of
marine resources. The most important are reef
finfish, pelagic fish, mangrove crab, lobster, trochus, giant clam, beche-de-mer,
and other invertebrates. According to the domestic fisheries statistics
program of the Division of Marine Resources, the most important reef fish
are barracuda, eel, emperor, goatfish, grouper, jacks, jobfish, mackerel,
milkfish, mojarra, mullet, parrotfish, rabbitfish, ray, rudderfish, sardines, scad, sea bream, snapper,
surgeonfish, trevally, unicornfish, and wrasse.
are no bilateral or regional management arrangements in force with respect
to the species covered by this fisheries management system.
indication of the general goals of government management of inshore fisheries
are given in the national development plan: “to reach a sustainable compromise
concerning allocation amongst the contending needs of users, and to balance
the rates of extraction for subsistence and commercial sales with the
maintenance of a healthy and diverse ecosystem”.
various state and traditional management systems in
major aspect of the fisheries management strategy in
At the national level the main management strategies for marine resources management and development, according the Division of Marine Resources, are:
The Palau Conservation Society has articulated the general management strategies for inshore marine resources:
The Marine Protection Act of 1994 is the basis for much of the management measures for the inshore fisheries at the national level. It places restrictions on fishing gear, fishing seasons, and exports of certain threatened fish and shellfish.
measures applied to manage inshore resources at the local level in
inshore management measures in
general, the national level measures are enforced in the field by Marine
Law Enforcement officials. State
police enforce the state measures. Traditional enforcement is much less
structured, but usually involves community members passing information
on violation of rules to traditional authorities.
Stakeholder input into the decision making process at the national level is largely through representation in the Olbiil Era Kelulau, or national legislature, while that at the local level it is through close ties to traditional leaders.
for management decisions at the national level is acquired through a variety
of means, including the domestic fisheries statistics program of the Marine
Resources Division and specialized surveys, often carried out with outside
technical expertise (The Nature Conservancy and the
The main fishery legislation of
Constitution of the
The Palau National Code deals with fisheries management in three areas:
· Title 24 - Environmental Protection
Division 2: Wildlife Protection
Chapter 12: Protected Sea Life
13: Illegal Methods of Capture
· Title 27 - Fishing
Division 1: Foreign Fishing
Chapter 1: Fishery Zones and Regulation of Foreign Fishing
Subchapter I: General Provisions
Subchapter III: Fishery Zones
Subchapter IV: Regulation of Foreign Fishing
Subchapter V: Enforcement and Penalties
Division 2: Domestic Fishing
Chapter 10: District Entities for Development of Marine Resources
Subchapter I: General Provisions
Subchapter II: The Authority
III: Administration of Authority
Marine Protection Act (1994) has
provisions for restrictions on fishing gear, fishing seasons, and exports
of certain threatened fish and shellfish.
INVESTMENTS AND SUBSIDIES IN FISHERIES
The main government investment in fisheries is in basic infrastructure, including fisheries wharves and refrigeration facilities.
largest private sector investments are those made by the companies involved
in tuna longlining. With most of the vessels being chartered from
For the small-scale commercial coastal fisheries, the major investments are in fiberglass skiffs, outboard engines, and fishing gear.
There is little information on subsidies in
AND DEMAND FOR FISHERY PRODUCTS
Projections for the supply and demand for fish
are unavailable for
The population of
There have been several attempts to estimate
per capita fish consumption in
If it is assumed that annual per capita consumption
is 110 kg, then
agencies share responsibility for the development and management of living
marine resources in
the above organisations are headquartered in