Senate bill 11-37, a bill amending 27 PNC 1204(r) to allow for export of trochus (semum) outside of Palau passed 3rd reading in the House of Delegates.  The bill had already cleared the Senate, and if Senate does not object to an amendment added by the House, the bill will then be submitted to President Whipps for his final action.

The proposal seeks to clarify to conflicting laws.  One law 24 PNC 1243 provides a process where trochus can be harvested and sold overseas whereas 27 PNC 1204 ( 4) as amended by RPPL 10-54 prohibits export “of any species of living resources that predominantly inhabit reef areas, territorial sea or internal waters of the Republic of Palau.”

The bill adds to the line that prohibits export the following language, “with the exception of trochus harvested in accordance with 24 PNC 1243.”

The only amendment House of Delegates added to Senate bill on trochus was removing the exception

The trochus law provides a process whereby OEK issues a resolution informing President to declare a season for harvesting trochus.  The Presidential declaration sets the duration of the harvest season, the open and the closing dates for the harvest. 

This year, due to low prices offered by external buyers and the unclear language in the law, the season was opened for nearly a month and only for local consumption.

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