SINCE THE LEGISLATION(SENATE) OF PALAU DO NOT CARE ENOUGH FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE NATURAL BALANCE OF THE FOOD CHAIN. SINCE THAT WE RAN OUT OF GOVERNMENT MONEY, THEY THINK THEY CAN JUST INTRODUCE A BILL THAT IS TOTALLY BALDERDASH! I SAY LET THE PEOPLE TALK...PETITION ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE. ENOUGH OF JUST SITTING BACK AND WATCH OUR COUNTRY GO DOWN THE DRAIN! I CREATED THIS BLOG TO JOIN ALL THE THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO VISION THIS. SAVE THE SHARKS!Stop Senate Bill 8-44 that opens up shark fishing
"A Bill is now before Palau's OEK (Congress) that if passed would eliminate Palau's strong shark protection laws and actively encourage fishing for sharks and the taking of shark fins."
Also see this blog entry
"Senate Bill No. 8-44 seeks "to amend Title 27 of Palau's National Code to allow for the commercial fishing of sharks within Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone, to impose a tax on the export of sharks and tuna-like species, and for other related purposes."
The proposed law is a potentially severe blow to Palau's tourism industry of which scuba diving is the mainstay. Palau gained international recognition in 2004 for passage of landmark legislation that protected sharks, turtles and rays and outlawed the practice of shark-finning. Under Senate Bill 8-44 it is unclear whether shark fishing and or shark-finning is or is not permitted and the ambiguity will make it virtually impossible for law enforcement to successfully prosecute potential violators. Sections of the bill read as follows:
"It is unlawful for any person: to remove the fins of or otherwise intentionally mutilate or injure any such shark"
"It shall be unlawful for any person to have on board a fishing vessel shark fins that total more than five percent of the weight of sharks on board."
Other provisions of the proposed Act call for:
"An appropriate export tax for shark and fish caught pursuant to this Act."
"A minimum monetary or in-kind fish donation that commercial fishing companies shall make to the Belau National Hospital, the Aging Program within the Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs, or similar governmental agency or private, non-profit organization. These donations shall come from fish or shark caught pursuant to this Act, or revenues generated from those fish or shark."
Members of the Belau Tourism Association, Palau Chamber of Commerce and the Palau Visitors Authority are strongly opposed to passage of this legislation.
Fishing company consortiums from the city of General Santos, Philippines, are pressing hard for rights to fish in Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone and it is widely believed that introduction of this bill is no mere coincidence. Foreign fishing fleets have a well documented track record of violating Palau's environmental laws, poaching Palau's marine resources and violating fishing agreements. This proposed Bill puts the Palau's tourism industry directly at odds with commercial fishing in Palau's waters as the two are simply incompatible.
In 2004 Palau was recognized by shark conservation agency Sharkproject as their Shark Guardian of The Year. Passage of Senate Bill 8-44 will be a sudden and potentially costly about face for Palau that will yield no gain. Palau only stands to lose...lose its fisheries and its dive industry.
I urge you to speak out against this proposed Bill by sending your comments to all of the following organizations who are fighting against Senate Bill 8-44"
Belau Tourism Association: email@example.com
Palau Chamber of Commerce: firstname.lastname@example.org
Palau Visitors Authority: email@example.com
* I also would like to thank Dermot from Sam's Tour's for his Blogs and Web site. It gave me real appreciation and ambition to start my own blog and also i signed his petition. Thank you Dermot!
I would Also like to ask if you could join the petition against this bill.
President Johnson Toribiong
Senator Adalbert Eledui
Regarding: Please reject Senate Bill 8-44
We are writing to you to express our grave concern over Senate Bill 8-44 which promises to open Palau waters to foreign commercial fishing of sharks. It is especially disturbing because in recent years, Palau has been recognized for its extremely positive and proactive protection of sharks. Palau currently has among the best shark protection laws in the world, only now being emulated by the Republic of the Maldives with its own ban on shark fishing.
We understand how Bill 8-44 may bring in some greatly needed revenue. We fail to see, however, how it will succeed in compensating for the shortfall in tourism revenue that it will certainly result as your sharks and marine ecosystem decline.
Many of the signers of this petitions are divers who have either visited Palau or keep Palau on their short list of greatly admired diving destinations. Many others signing this petition are aware of the importance of sharks to the ecosystem and the healthy balance of marine populations upon which Palau, and all of us, depend.
Palau is a country that we have come to respect for its strong and early protection of sharks. We urge you to reject this short-sighted and misguided bill. Instead, please recommit to your valued leadership position on shark conservation that attracts so much dive tourism to your waters and the world's appreciation to your people.
THANK YOU AND "SAVE THE SHARKS"!