Here's a video about Palau in the early days of independence and the concerns for protection of fishing stock in Palau waters. Back then, I was about to join the newly formed Embassy of the Republic of Palau in Washington, DC. I recall the conversations I had with other Palauans about overfishing and ongoing damage to the coral reefs. Since that time, the the President and Palauan government have launched a bold campaign that has inspired a global movement for preservation of islands and coral reefs.
Green mounds only a few metres apart rise out of the glassy, blue sea. Under the water, fluorescent fish dart through strands of orange corral. The island of Palau is a paradise on earth. It has been voted number one wonder of the underwater world. But all this beauty faces the threat of rampant tourism. Since independence in 1994, the people of Palau are seeking to replace US funding with revenue from an ever expanding tourist trade. Although, such economic growth will generate jobs, there is great concern for the environment.
Palau's second industry, fishing, is also making an impact. As giant tunas are lifted by cranes from the fishing boats, conservationist Noah Idechong is acting to safeguard fishing stock. He has persuaded local chiefs to reinstate the "bul", an ancient law which bans fishing in major breeding grounds. In revitalising traditional customs, he has the support of Palau's vice president, Tommy Remengesau. There is hope that this young nation will mature with its environment and its cultural identity intact.