Ngardmau State won the “Leadership Cook-Off” contest last night at the 6th Palau National Marine Sanctuary Anniversary held at Kokusai, Ngatpang October 28th.

The cookoff contest pitted leaderships from the 8 participating states, governor, speaker, and a delegate, to display their special dishes featuring fresh pelagic fish.  The event showcased one of the main positive by-products of the Palau Marine Sanctuary policy, food security.

2th place winner of the Leadership Cook-off was Hatohobei State and the 3th place was Ngatpang State.

“It’s been a success. Palau Marine Sanctuary exemplifies the Palauans’ understanding of conservation…We Palauns should be proud of this, it is one of the largest such sanctuaries in the world.” stated Delegate Timothy Sinsak who spoke on behalf of the House of Delegates last night.

Long lines of people waiting to taste a variety of flavors and cooking of pelagic fishes made by two local chefs lasted nearly throughout the 3-hour program.  One of the chefs, Marco Malsol reported that 75 pounds of pelagic fish provided by Belau Offshore Fisheries Incorporated (BOFI) for the free food tasting event were completely consumed.

Proposals to re-open the PNMS for fishing have been introduced in OEK since the pandemic began and the sentiment from the attendees last night was against any proposal to amend the existing law.

“It has been just 6 years.  Let’s give it a chance,” expressed one attendee.  Another stated that now larger and bigger pelagic fish are coming near shore for local fishermen to catch which was not common before the PNMS closure.

Former President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. who has been out of the public eye since he retired said that fishermen were benefiting from the spillover effects of the sanctuary.  The no-take zones in the sanctuary are producing fishes that are spilling over into areas where local fishermen can catch them.  The economy may not be doing so well but at least people can still fish and eat as a result of the PNMS.

PNMS organizers invited partners to join their 6th Anniversary event such as BOFI, Ebiil, BIANGO, Marine Law Enforcement, states, and other NGOs as well as food vendors.  Educational games and information booths where attendees participated and won prizes.

Live band, games, prizes, free food, and contests contributed to an educational and enjoyable event for the many participants and attendees at the 6th Anniversary of the Palau National Marine Sanctuary .

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