Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing (IUU) is still coming into Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) confirmed the National Security Coordinator Jennifer Anson. 

Satellite images provided by Ocean Mind, a partner that Palau works with often show IUUs within Palau’s EEZ, revealed NSC Anson.  “We see them all the time,” Anson said on the requested images that they received before deploying the patrol boats.

Working with multiple partners, like the Ocean Mind, which provides satellite imaging, improves the enforcement of Palau’s maritime but it is also an expensive effort.

It costs $24k a month to avail of the satellite services, explained Anson.  “PEW had sponsored that, and we have requested additional three more months, but after that, we will have to find other sources.”

Illegal fishing boats turn off their identification systems (AIS), hiding from law enforcement.  Using satellite imaging, deploying Sea Dragon, and then lastly deploying the patrol boats improves the chances of capturing IUU fishing vessels, but it is still quite an expensive operation.

Having licensed fishing boats before out in the EEZ helped with capturing IUUs, according to Anson.  “They were like extra eyes out there for us reporting IUU.  They reported IUUs because they were paying for licenses to fish while others did not, and they reported them.”

The increase in the number of joint exercises by Palau and its partners, the United States, Japan, Australia, and Taiwan, helped Palau with monitoring the EEZ but illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing continues.  

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