President-elect Surangel Whipps Jr. will continue the legacy of Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS)dispelling earlier talks that drastic changes will be made on the signature policy when outgoing President Tommy Remengesau Jr. leaves office.
“There is more to gain under the current system. It is about how to maximize our resources to benefit the Palauan people, “ Whipps Jr. said during a press conference with local reporters on Dec. 23.
The PNMS came into full implementation in January of 2020 and established a large-scale no-take marine protected area which covers 80 percent of Palau’s EEZ. The remaining 20 percent is zoned for regulated offshore fishing activities.
Whipps assured that under his administration PNMS work continues and will be better enhanced to ensure that the domestic fishing fleet will be developed.
“What we need to do is to develop our domestic fleet. Maybe if Palauans become part of this industry, Palau can export high value products. This is the challenge.”
“For the past five years we were supposed to get ready but we have been a little bit behind. So what we need to work on is how to get that fishing fleet developed quickly. What are other ways to make use of this resource to benefit Palauans people.,’ he said.
Whipps said he has been part of Congress who passed the PNMS law and said it’s meant to provide great benefits to the Palauan people.
PNM ) has been hailed by the UN Ocean Conference as “one of the world’s most ambitious ocean conservation initiatives.