14 Nov 2019

Palau's 'choose pelagic' programme protecting reef fish

10:14 pm on 14 November 2019

The Palau government says its new National Marine Sanctuary Act enables islanders and tourists to eat pelagic fish while reducing demand for coral reef fish

Aquarium Fish blue surgeonfish paracanthurus hepatus or blue tang, regal tang, palette surgeonfish.

Photo: 123rf

The minister for natural resources, environment and tourism, Fleming Sengebau, made the comment while attending the Pacific Ocean Finance Conference in Fiji this week.

Mr Sengebau said targeting pelagic fish protected other species from over fishing.

"We get about over 100,000 tourists a year versus 20,000 population. Certainly that's causing a great risk to our resources," he said.

"And so that's why we're providing this alternative 'choose pelagic' programme to make sure the tourists are coming in but are not eating the coral reef fish."