The Council of Chiefs (COC)of the Republic of Palau, in response to Senate Bill 11-33, which seeks to allow two-month harvest season per year for five years of adult Napoleon Wrasse (Maml) and adult Bumphead Parrot Fish (Kemedukl) for personal consumption, say they support limited season for the harvesting Kemedukl but recommends continued ban on fishing for Maml.
“We take great pride in the positive impact of our marine protection laws that have spurred the resurgence in the population of Napoleon Wrasse and Bumphead Parrotfish in our Republic. However, the work is far from complete and remains an ongoing enterprise, for conservation of our resources is an ongoing endeavor not only for us alive today but also for those yet to be born.” Stated COC.
The Chiefs recommended that before opening of the harvest season for Kemedukl, if the law is passed, that the regulations to the implement the bill be developed and “only after the adoption of such regulations may the fishing season be officially opened.”
Some of the recommendations by the Council of Chiefs include, prohibiting fishing at night and during new moon for kemedukl, catch limit per fishing trip, restriction of fishing of kemedukl to locals only, defining fisherman and limiting the proposed five-year season to two-years only.
Finally, they recommended imposition of harsher fines for violations such as $1,000 fine for first offense.
Moreover, COC expressed that Minister with assistance of PICRC and other governmental organizations monitor and report the development over the period of the harvest season in order to “ensure that we do not prematurely halt or accidentally reverse the gains we have made over the course of the past 15 years.”