A bill passed both houses of OEK this week to ban the export of any reef fish or marine resources that primarily inhabit reef areas, territorial sea or internal waters of Palau.

This ban extends to sending any marine species out of Palau, whether for personal or commercial purposes. In other words, no more coolers of fish to be sent out to relatives or friends outside Palau.  This not only covers species of fish but also any sea cucumbers, crustaceans or any other marine species.

In the bill findings, it states, “fisheries indicate that reef fish and other aquatic life have become increasingly scarce, particularly over the past decade.”

The bill further says that there are numerous factors but continued export whether for personal consumption or commercial has contributed greatly to the depletion of the resources.

The ban does not apply to species collected for research or species bred in aquaculture or mariculture farm.

The Senate bill passed both Senate and House and will be transmitted to the President for action.