The senate passed on 1st reading the bill that seeks to impose a five-year moratorium on the export of any fishes that inhabit Palau’s reefs.

Senate Bill No. 10-114 cited on its legislative findings that the Olbiil Era Kelulau (OEK) finds that the population of fishes that inhabit Palau’s reefs are depleting faster than they are reproducing.

“Although this decline in fishery stock likely has numerous causes, the continued practice of allowing the exportation of Palau’s reef fish is unneeded strain on this supply and has worked to deplete the Republic’s supply of reef marine resources,” the bill reads.

The bill also points out that although the “practice of allowing Palauans to pack fish, including reef fish out of Palau to share with friends and families overseas is a wonderful tradition of sharing Palau’s bounty; however, this practice is demonstrably being abused.”

The bill proposes to exempt only the taking of the prohibited species if they are for research purposes and if they are bred in captivity at an aquaculture or mariculture farm by a person licensed by authorized body. (Rhealyn C. Pojas/Reporter)