Fishing boat at PITI and fishermen arriving into Palau from Indonesia. The fishermen are said to be transiting Palau to the Marshall Islands where PITI has active fishing operations.

Palau International Trading Inc., a foreign fishing company that used to fish in Palau waters before the PNMS closure, is transporting its’ fishermen through Palau to the Republic of the Marshall Islands where they have an active fishing operation, according to Jackson Ngiraingas, a private entrepreneur who is looking to open his own fishing company.

Due to the limited operation of the US Embassy in Jakarta, the fishermen have not been able to obtain US visas to travel from Indonesia to Guam to RMI.  He said that speaking with the PITI manager here, he was informed that with the opening of Manila-Palau flights, they were able to bring the fishermen here and then transport them on the fishing vessels to RMI.

Pictures of fishing boats and arriving fishermen at PITI compound in Malakal had many people wondering if the Palau National Marine Sanctuary has re-opened to commercial fishing activities.

After nearly two years of no fishing vessels in Malakal, the sight of boats coming to dock caught people’s attention.

MAFE Minister Steven Victor, questioned earlier about the presence of fishing boats docked at PITI dock said that PITI has not applied for fishing licenses in Palau.

“Some of them have been here for some time,” added Mr. Ngiraingas of the PITI fishermen.

Mr. Ngiraingas himself has been looking for ways to bring fishermen for his domestic fishing operation and said he faces similar challenges with bringing in fishing crew due to COVID restrictions around the region. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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