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A Tiny Island Shows How to Protect the Oceans

The success of Palau could be a road map for essential maritime protection activities around the world.

The archipelago nation has outlawed bottom trawling, the practice of scraping the ocean with a curtain-like net Palau-corals-5623538896_cfd5f32d5f_z.jpg__640x480_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscalethat destroys everything in its path. It created the world’s first shark sanctuary and requires all tuna longliners to have a person to monitor onboard.

More recently, in 2015, Palau established the largest no-take zone in the world: 193,000 square miles of ocean that cannot be fished, mined or drilled.

To support all of its efforts, Palau recruited a range of partners from commercial, nonprofit and governmental spheres. It also works with wealthy individuals interested in conservation and has even turned to crowdfunding for certain programs.

One collaborative effort involves a US-based nonprofit called SkyTruth. The organization monitors satellite data and relays suspicious poaching activity to the police force, which can then make strategically informed decisions with its scant resources.  Read more ...