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March 18, 2009


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"...various shark species will begin to go extinct in 10 to 15 years.
In some key regions, species that were once numerous have fallen to 1% of their original numbers. Studies of open
ocean sharks estimate 80 to 90% of heavily fished species are gone."

As written from an anti-shark finning website.

Does he really want to be part of this? We worked I think pretty hard to get to where we are for anti-shark finning. We have been commended in the things we did for that and it was heard all around the world. Does he really want to put it down on us?

What I don't understand is how someone would just get up from bed and say: "Hey, I have a radical idea that I would like to share with everyone and I know it will great!" without checking statistics, the science behind, clairvoyantly think what will happen in years to come as a result of that idea.

Next thing you know, we will have commercial turtle harvesting and dugong meat export bills.

I agree with Aramid. What the hell is this guy thinking. I thought this congress would be smarter than the last one, so far I am really disappointed!!! I hope his idea will fall on deaf ears in OEK!!

The big reason we have tourist coming to Palau is diving our beautiful waters and have the chance to see a SHARK!! Man I just lost respect to this guy. Cmon man! think of something produvtive and makes sense!!

I don't think Palau is that desperate for money. Maybe the senator had not seen the beauty under water. Diveshops in palau should invite him to dive to see the wonders in the sea. Let's not forget the beauty of our island and water.

This is what $50K a year pays for. Environmental Destruction and Species Eradication.

Lets undo everything that protects Palau's waters...what a joke.

Here are some facts;

*sharks are territorial creatures.
*outer reef sharks and reef sharks live in different zones in the ocean.
*this bills does not deal with reef sharks.
*this bill does not deal with sharks within the 12 mile zone.
*this Bill deals only with sharks caught
as by catch during Tuna fishing.
*most of the sharks caught as by catch are thrown away as you read this now.
*the sharks are caught out of the 12 mile zone.
*tourist only view reef sharks that swim within the 12 miles zone.
*outer reef sharks rarely come close to the reef where tourists dive at.
*taking the sharks caught outside the 12 mile zone does not effect the reef sharks at Blue Corner or other tourist dive spots.

With these facts, how does a reasonable man react to sharks caught as by catch of tuna fishing when the existing law forces them to throw the dead sharks away ?

Would you rather sell the dead sharks caught as by catches for cash or would you continue throwing away money (dead sharks)because the law forces you to ?

Think logically before you jump into conclusion or because yuo empathize with over zealous environmentalists.

You cannot stop sharks caught as by catches as long as the Tuna fishing industry thrives in Palau. If you want to stop dead sharks from by catches, then you need to STOP THE TUNA FISHING FIRST.

Meantime, the dead sharks from by catches needs to solved rather than continue to throw them away. This Bill aims to solve the needless throwing of dead sharks away (from Tuna Fishing) that can be converted to cash.

One Belau, I think you are out of your mind!! OK lets say it becomes law. Wouldn't this be a good excuse for them to keep catching sharks!! All they need to do is just say oh! the sharks were cought when we were catching Tuna!! Who is there to confirm this nobody!

This is incredible that a person (along with 7 other Senators?) could come up with an idea like this. How could any of us who were born and raised in our environment want to repeal a law that not only makes us money but also protects the world we grew up in for our children? This Senate makes the previous Senate look good--what a group. There seems to be a self serving, alterative motive for most all their proposals. If we really want to make money, we should create a Syndicated Soap Opera starring Diaz and Friends--we'd make millions and run on tv longer than "as the World Turns", "Days of our Lives" or "All My Children_- we'd conquer the airways of the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Taiwan as well---this way we'd all get a share of the profits--wow--maybe this is an idea one of our Distinguished "Senators" should fund.

I agree. Palau has one of best soap operas in world. Many years ago, friend and I said we would write script for Hollywood and would only be true story of everyday life (names changed to protect the innocent) - but it would have never sold back then - because they would have thought it too far-fetched!

One Belau,
Nice fairytale.

This is absolutely ridiculous!
"*outer reef sharks rarely come close to the reef where tourists dive at." BULL CRAP! check your facts! do you have any idea why diving the Peleliu area is so popular! it's outer reef diving, with outer reef sharks! HELLO!

I have seen first hand, sharks laying on the botton of the reef in Palau because there fins have been cut off! As a Palauan, seeing this happening makes my blood boil! FYI, when the sharks are caught, they ARE NOT DEAD, they are still alive, they cut off the fins and through them back into the water! I HAVE SEEN THIS WITH MY OWN EYES IN MY OWN WATERS! our gray reef sharks are negatively bouyant, meaning, without their fins they will sink to the bottom - and slowly die.

These fishing vessels do not care about our rules or regulations!! i was almost catch by these fishing boats! I was diving bouy#6, which is inside the reef (close to town) (the fishing boats aren't allowed to cast their lines), luckIly my buddy was able to pull me down just in the nick of time! what these vessells do to our waters is bad enough, heck they almost got me!


check out this website & see what is happening in our waters!

From what I understand, sharks are opportunistic predators, so they will be territorial once they find a stable source of food... Some of those facts are not correct...

If this bill gets passed, then the demand for shark fins will go up, there is no question about that because we are making shark fins more available when the rest of the world is trying to stop it. We have to be smart with our resources.

A wise man once said (or something similar),

"It is better to be a silent fool, than to speak and remove all doubts."

this is one of the dumbest ideas in the history of the OEK. first, palau has developed a worldwide reputation as a shark sanctuary. that's one of the reasons why people come to dive here. palau has also developed a reputation as a leader in environmental and wildlife protections. repealing this law would wreck that reputation and have negative effects on the tourist industry. it makes no sense to repeal this law. for what reason? to make a very precious few dollars off a cruel and inhumane fishing practice? mr. ueki is not thinking this through. but who i am to reach this conclusion? i could be biased afterall. i think we should shut down the foreign operated tuna industry too.

Mr. Ueki, yes I say MR. cause he just lost my vote and respect. Its obvious he is just doing this for some Asian business man that will end up giving only a few dollars back to Mr. Ueki, and he thinks its a lot of money, very sad!!

This OEK make the 7th OEK look really damn good!!!

This bill will require Palauans to work on the fishing vessels to monitor the catch.

Only the by-catch sharks and other bill fish will be taken.

Also, the shark by-catch are outside the 12 mile zone or EEZ, not dive spots.

I do not remember PVA promoting Palau as a shark sanctuary or that tourists come here just to see sharks living in the EEZ.

IF you all want to defeat this bill, you need to provide hard statistics and scientific research data to support your claim.

Meantime, sharks caught in the long liners continue to be thrown away.

It is dangerous to allow finning of by-catch sharks, dead or alive. Like I said, you open up a market that the rest of the world is trying to close. Demands will go higher and thus illegal finning will go up, if not here then we will contribute it elsewhere.

Allowing finning of by-catch sharks will also increase illegal fishing (trawling, gillnetting, etc.) in protected areas for higher potential of by-catches, because imagine 700 U.S dollars/kilo for shark fins, what will stop these people from doing that?...

Hong Kong alone sells the most shark fin soups per day, and the demand is growing. Not only that, Mainland China has a growing middle class population, shark fin soup is becoming available for them. Imagine 1.3 billion (1,300,000,000) potential shark fin consumers, and it is growing.

Lets assume that a small percentage eats shark fin soup, .5%, even at half a percent, is 6.5 million people. That does not include south eastern asian countries, and all the way through India. They don't eat once in a lifetime, they eat them regularly like how we eat jungle pidgeon.

And what, you need 30 years for sharks to reproduce? Not exactly a renewable resource. This is why 97% of the worldwide shark population has dropped over the years.

We are a tiny island, and we don't want to be part of a big problem. This is why politicians and scientists don't mix like, oil and water, polics think they know better. What a bad bill, I wouldn't use it to wipe my a$$.

A MUCH better thing to do is tax them per pound of by-catch sharks and put those money to research on how to prevent by-catch incidents. Nobody thinks of better ideas.

whatever, kikio. you're wrong. perhaps PVA doesn't promote palau as a shark sanctuary, but PVA does use palau's reputation for conservation as a draw for diving tourist. and just take a look at the news. palau gets promotion for shark week every year, for documentaries on wildlife, for remengesau's efforts in stopping shark finning, and for other conservation efforts. just take a look in the horizon or online at the olekoi news section and you will see. it's not just in local press, it's worldwide papers like the new york times, for one. that's why this bill is a very bad idea.

but also, the rest of the world is trying to close the shark fin market and other wildlife product markets. hong kong disney land took shark fin soup off the menu. famous chinese actors have been featured in a campaign to stop shark finning. and, making this legal will draw more by-catch. oops, didn't mean to catch all those sharks - not. again, this bill is a bad idea.

this bill is dumb, it's backwards, and it's a stupid move. we won't earn enough money from shark finning to make a big impact on our economy. and the money that is earned will be similar to dirty money.

aramid, i like the taxation idea. maybe you should email that one to the oek through their website. it would be so good to see fines and penalties for conservation and environmental crimes, and see that money put to good use.


Ar tourist a mlei me omes a chedeng ng mla mo seuam a lemei el me chomes a kIKOI!! A kumdasue e tia diak el option!!!

Palau is the only country that throws away by-catches while all other fishing countries take them in and sell or eat them.

That is why the Palauan scouts are being placed on the fishing boats to monitor the all the catches by the fishermen operating in the EEZ.

Sharks are biggest predetor in the ocean. They decimate schools of fish and compete with men for the same fish for food. Also, they are dangerous animals. I hate them. A Grey Shark bit off my left testicle. ouch !

Do not be too friendly toward dangerous animals. They will kill you. A pet Chimpanze just killed its owner/friend in the US.

None of you have provided scientific proof that the sharks swimming in the EEZ come to Blue Corner.

The Blue Corner sharks live in the Blue corner and around the reefs of Palau, not in the EEZ.

The only solution to this is stop all the fishing in Palau or stop the Chinese from eating shark fin soup. Why not target these problems instead of making Palau a victim of its own fishing laws ?

Meantime, fishermen are still throwing tons of shark by catches everyday. Other countries are smart and take them in.

Personally, I do not like to throw food and money away. This is my arguement.

Palau is not the only country that throws away by-catches, be it shark or otherwise. Sharks are not the biggest predators in the ocean, humans are. If you mean in terms of size, then still no, there are larger predators, orcas, for one. Don't listen to polics that spread false information.

The EEZ is a bit smaller than the size of Texas, I don't know, there are lots of life that can move back and forth. I would provide some information but there are probably no papers published yet about Palauan shark migration. That doesn't mean they don't, don't get me wrong, they do elsewhere. It is better to speak with shark experts that study in Palau. I also imagine that the research being done on shark migration, such as following tagged sharks, they get caught in fishing activities and never recorded.

"The only solution to this is stop all the fishing in Palau or stop the Chinese from eating shark fin soup."

No you cannot, be realistic..... that is why it is better to tax them by weight of important by-catch, sharks, sea turtles, sea albatros (some are endangered), etc. It helps lower casualties by instilling good practice, and we can make a profit out of it, for research, man-power etc.

If they don't agree with the tax thing, then too bad, there aren't much places to go that is convinient for those fishing boats. If they want our fish in our ocean, they have to agree with terms that help protect and conserve a stable ecosystem too.

I full agree with Aramid on his Tax Suggestion and I cannot understand all the argument--this is simple--if you love our country, our environment, our heritage, then you will protect all three and what lives within to include the sharks, Crocodiles, Dugongs,Fruit Bats, Birds, Turtles etc---Laws should be passed to level a high tax on Sharks caught within our EEZ or even better, stop all commercial fishing and designate our entire area as a Conservation Zone--if we did that, the day will soon come where we may well be the only Conservation area left or in the least, one of the few and that would generate more tourist dollars/Yen/Euros/NT/Yuan than what we would get off a tax or allowing the sale of Shark Fins. Let's face it, most anything proposed in this Senate comes with a "Hidden Agenda"--a self serving, self benefiting/enriching motive--it may be someone would want to look in to the "Chinese involvement" within this group led by "Senator" Ueki--if the truth ever comes out on the secret trips and vacations enjoyed by so m any of our "leaders" both elected and in high Positions, many would be in for a surprise at how deep the relationships are--Let us not kid ourselves here by our recognition of the Republic of China--this may be so but the Peoples Republic of China has been and continues to spread a lot of money around--I seriously doubt if Senator Ueki and his co-horts are advocating to legalize Shark Fin and meat sales in the National Interests--Pity on those who want to destroy our environment--pity on us who would allow them to do so.

Selling shark fins from by catches was going on in Palau since 1960s when Van Camp Seafood company was here. This practice continued until 2005 when Pres. Tommy illegalized the sale of shark fins. Before the 2005 ban, the shark population at the dive spots never decreased from sharking finning from by catches. At least no scientific report has proven the contrary.

I thank you all for being zealous about shark protection. However, you need the latest and credbile scientific data to prove your points.

You are wrong that the size of EEZ is the size of Texas. EEZ extends beyond the 12 miles out to 200 miles from the coast of Palau territorial waters. Yes, aside from man, sharks are on top of the food chain in Palau's EEZ and they compete with the Palau's fishing industry for Tuna. This is a fact.

Sharks caught as by catch are those sharks that live in the EEZ and migrate with the schools of Tuna. They do NOT come to dive spots. No ! Scientific evidence proves that sharks follow their prey for food.

If anything, these migratory sharks compete with fishermen for the same Tuna. If their population is over protected, shark numbers will increase and cause an ecological imbalance. At the end of the day, fishermen will have less Tuna to catch.

Read the Bill carefully. It deals with ONLY the by catches. The by catches are brought to Palau entirely, not only the fins. Soon, it may not be profitable to bring the entire shark carcas because the weight displaces limited spaces in the boats for Tuna fish.

The Bill requires Palauan boys to be placed on the fishing boats to monitor the by catches and report any illiegal activities to the authorities. As you read this, there are not Palauans monitoring the catches of the Tuna fishermen.

Sharks are greedy creatures and that is whey they will always get caught on hooks of those long liners. They die because sharks gills are different from other fish. They need to swim to stay alive. IF they bite the hooks and cannot swim, they die.

So the fishermen have to throw away food and money when they sharks get snagged in their lines.

Do you guys really believe the shark population at Blue Corner will disappear because migratory sharks at the EEZ are caught everyday ?

Remember, whether this BIll becomes law or not, the sharks WILL STILL GET CAUGHT ON THE LONG LINERS. So the question is, do want to continue throwing away dead sharks or bring them it for food and money.

Your theory that shark finning will cause decrease sharks population in dive spots is flawed BECAUSE SHARKS DYING AS BY CATCHES FROM TUNA FISHING IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW and for the past 35 years. Yet, there are sharks in Blue Corner everytime you dive there. They are the same sharks anyway because they do not swim to the EEZ. They are reef sharks. There are many species of sharks and they live in different zones on the ocean.


So Palau needs to decide. DO we throw them dead sharks away or do we make use of them ? That is the question.

Kikoi, actually the question isn't that- it is, if we make use of dead sharks, will that incentivize people to kill sharks? How do you know if people are long lining for Tuna or Shark Fin? For all I know Sharkfin is more profitable, so they can use tuna fishing as a front. I think until we have the means to control this effectively, we should ban it. I understand the argument, I just don't think we have the resources to control what may become a huge problem for our country, and thats why I think this bill is utterly ridiculous. What about setting up shark farms for harvesting these fins? Basic economics dictates that in order to control a public good (fisheries) you need to either create a legal market, or you have to ban it entirely. Its kind of like prostitution. It is morally reprehensible, but if you consider the fact that you make taxes out of it, then you can either create a market and control it (impose regulatory licenses, checks, etc) for example in holland, or you ban it (like in the US). There will always be a black market, but you can't say you can only have prostitution only if its in a karaoke bar, cause then people will open more karaoke bars for prostitution. Just trying to give an alternate scenario - but do you see what I mean?

Again, this is what 50K a year gets the people of Palau. Short sighted people with loose morals and a large appetite for benjamins. I'm talking about some of these Senators, of course.

So, we've got casinos in the House of D's and Shark Fin Soup in the Senate. Looks like we have bit of yellow fever going on here in Palau. Bad enough that we sold ourselves short with the COFA, but now we are completely selling out to the chinese/taiwanese. So much for:

"Belau loba klisiich er a kelulul, el di mla ngarngii ra re chuodel mei."

Next season of Survivor Palau will feature the natives vs. the chinese.

Think about it.

Mr. Ueki leave them shark alone and do someting better for the people of palau and future genaration.meral meringel a rengul aikal sengkyo er kid.....

Palau's EEZ is just around 9.5% smaller than the state of Texas. I am not wrong, check it out yourself.

I am not going to continue about this article anymore beyond this, obviously someone is either the Senator's immediate family member or his big brown noser and believes and spreads a lot of poor logic and ideas that are fed to him/her.

The idea of taxing a reasonable amount of by-catch by weight, be it shark (tax it higher), turtles (much higher), albatross, ect. for the purpose of funding research to prevent by-catch incidents, instilling good and fair fishing habits, man-power, I believe is a much better idea. Better than putting our shark fins in the illegal black markets. Lets pass the idea around like hot potato.

obviously your either Sen. Uekis relative or friend. For your information there are plenty of dive spots in Palau and not all of them are inside the barrier reef! For Example, Blue Corner has plenty of different sharks that have been going there for a long time, hammer heads, blue sharks, tiger sharks and even Killer whales that went through Blue Corner in 1996!! Also you say sharks follow Tunas, Blue Corner has schools of tunas that swim bye the area occasionally so go figure!! Unfortunately the variety of sharks at Blue Corner are dicreasing due to shark finning!!

If we make this into law then who are we going to sell the sharks to? Obviously its the same people who have been bying it in the black market. This will just enforce them to concentrate more on sharks with the excuse of getting cought in their line. It does not take a rocket sceintist to figure this out! Again, our biggest source of revenue is tourism and the only reason they come to Palau is DIVING and have chance to see SHARKS!! If we fish them out than divers will go somewhere else.

Well said guys.

Whether this Bills becomes law or not, shark by catches are happening everyday. They are thrown away.


Whether this Bill become law or not, sharks are caught everyday.

Some of you are treating this Bill like a carta blache to fish ALL SHARKS ! No, only by cathces or sharks that get hit by Tuna long liners.

Please concentrate your arguments on this specific issue.

Sorry I lied, but I want to address this one.

Razzio, what several people don't see further than this bill is that allowing the profit of shark finning caught from by-catch will make these by-catch incidents more frequent.

What makes you think will prevent fishermen to attract or catch sharks before setting up their tuna catching nets and label them as by-catch? I would do it, and exploit every loop-hole in this bill I can find and get away with it.

Like allowing mink fur to be sold by road kills, you will see an alarming frequency rate of these "accidental" road kill incidents. By-catch happens but you don't want to increase it by exploiting loop-holes.

I don't know, this bill is fishy by all accounts and I still question why it wasn't thought more carefully or consulted with marine experts (not statistical experts, they provide numbers but not why those numbers are like that).

I say,

Make it all legal by-catch or not. Catch as much as you can to generate money into our economy. Why sacrafice peoples lives over a protection of a shark?

I don't know about you guys, but at least Senator Ueki has something that actually can produce real money to help. Until now I have yet to see any real money making bills that the government so desperatly needs. None what so ever. Most bills are for long term goals. What about today, tomorrow? Does anyone know where to get the money? Nada! Only sweet talk is what we hear. No real solutions. And here we are protecting the sharks while we the people have so many shortage of essential needs. Give me a break!

Mosis, let me rain in with my 2 cent. Reading the posts here for the last several days has shown that, for as long as there is long-line tuna fishing going on, the shark by-catches are unavoidable. So, here is my suggestion: The propose bill should contain a provision prohibiting finning of shark by-catchs in the high seas, only at the port of entry, e.g., Malakal, under hopefully the watchful eyes of the marine resource people. That way, the boat captain has no choice but to bring in the whole shark. Otherwise, if he only brings in the fins, a heafty fine will be levied. If this happens, I can just see the boat captain having to decide whether to keep the sharks or the 500 lbs. tuna in his limited storage space on board. Also, it will allow for the scientists to keep tract of the number of sharks killed.
Another provision could be inserted limiting the number of by-catches brought in to, say, half of the number of tunas caught.

I say the above knowing full well that there still remains the question of how do we know if the sharks are actually by-catches. Short of putting an inspector on each fishing boat, I think the best that can happen is limiting the number of by-catches along the lines I am suggesting above. What do you think?


Brien Sers Nicholas

lets not forget about the message we are sending out. a lot of people see shark finning as inhumane and brutal. if you watch tv or have read through some article or book, you know well that sharks' numbers are on the declne. giving fisheries a chance to capture them will only allow a greater chance of them working around the law and what good will come of that.

Please check with Marine Law enforcement first to see what they can do to enforce monitoring by-catch. No Palauan in their right mind is willing to be placed on any one of these boats to "monitor" by-catch.

Plus, if you look closely, the fishing fleets are ever increasing their "by-catch" to include species other than tuna. Ask any fisherman out there about catching marlin, and you will find out that they are on the decline - is this related, I think so.

There was a bill introduced about increasing the $ per tonne for the fishing fleets. Why are we being distracted by Shark Finning which is already an illegal activity under Palau law? We already have a system to levy fees for tuna catches. Why are we looking at setting up another burden on our government agencies that are already severely undermanned and have no resources to allow for an activity that is already illegal?

This argument goes for Casinos as well.

Mosi, it is good to think about ways to make money for the Government. However, the question is, what will be next? Are we going to then allow for the sale of ice or marijuana that are confiscated by law enforcement? There is a very big danger is going down this route of repealing laws for the sake of $$$. Or, should we just make marijuana legal, granted that we make sure that the sale is only for "medical" purposes?

Brien, to make legal shark finning burdensome on fishing fleets, with respect to the by-catch issue will only make the fishing fleets more elusive and creative. But I do see your point.

At any rate, we need to really analyze the costs and the benefits (short and long-term) for our country.

Alii Mardi,

In the Good Book it says, "man does not live on bread alone...". This may not be appealing to most of us including myself who has been wired to go all out in a economic model that promotes amassing wealth to secure sense of security and perhaps happiness. But when we look around that is not true. Happiness does not belong to the rich and famous but those who labor and give the fruit of their work to others. For the unbelievers pick up the latest magazine or tabloid on USA rich and famous. You would not like to be a Britney Spears for all the money in the world. She's a mess from the start. Just to name one from endless list.

Yes, we all need money to survive just because we have adopt this lifestyle. But to embrace the attitude of earning for the sake of more money is futile and senseless. Just my thoughts on the issue of giving everything for money. Please keep a little bit of yourself even at the cost of losing everything. And that is pride that no amount of money in the world can buy or create.


So if this becomes law where are we going to get the Palauans that will stay in a boat for a month in the open seas? I know Palauans want to go out to night clubs get drunk and probobally miss work the next day! It sad to say but its the truth!!! Lets see there are over hundred boats that belong to the different fishing companies..........somebody tell me where are we getting these Palauans, and be honest!

Are we going to promote tourism or shark finning? When the sharks die out tourism will go down! Palau is one of the few countries where you can dive with sharks.

This whole idea is ridiculous! obviously Sen. Ueki is just doing this for himself!!

Wow! Brien,

That is cost effective and managable.

That is even better and I totally agree. At least there is control and it's worth it compared to illegal shark fins that still manage to find it's way to asia out of our waters where we don't get any cent our of it.

And my friend Mardi,

You have a very legit question. But as for me I think Ice and Marijuana causes more problems to human lives which is not the case if we are comparing it to shark fins. Instead of being eaten by a shark, the fins are actually good for your health. And the money that comes out of it would be legal and could at least help us for the timebeing. I am not saying legalize it for ever. I am just saying it's logical to go that route at least for now until we get back on our feet.

With respect Santy,

I think that the money that comes out of this bill has nothing to do with amashing wealth, but a lot to do with helping the government and the people.


Mardi, komeng for the late response. You mentioning that my suggestion will only burden the fishing fleets is exactly what I am trying to say. That is, if they want to make money by selling the fins, well, guess what, you have to bring the whole shark in to the port. By brudening the fleets, then the captain will have to think twice. After all, they are out there to catch tunas, not sharks. And they better not come in to port with more sharks then tunas.

Now, as to the fleets becoming more "elusive and creative," I don't think so. Remember, they all have to come to port at Malakal where inspectors will be waiting. And, if they so decide to come in after working hours just to avoid being inspected, then their company will have to pay the inspectors over-time. Any boat coming in must notify the inspectors, say 12 hours before they dock to give the inspectors time to make any necessary arrangements for inspections.

Remember, we are only talking about the by-catches and nothing more. Shark finning, in general, would still remain illegal. There are economic values attached to these by-catches and we need to figure out what to do with it.


Brien Sers Nicholas

Mosis, let us hope that some of our learned Senators and Delegates are reading this blog. Hope our discussion and the many concerns raised here can spur more discussions among themselves to come up with a better written law that has no loop-holes that would allow wholesale shark finning.

By the way, I am heading down there next week so I will see if I can put in my 2 cent on this issue with some of our leaders. Imagine, after almost 20 years of practicing law, I will finally get the previlige to argue one of my cases involving PSB before our Appellate Court. Can't wait....should be fun!!!!


Brien Sers Nicholas

"While the body of the shark is worth almost nothing, sets of shark fins sell for US$700 per Kg. That is 70 times the value of a kilo of tuna." (http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/shark-fin-mystery) shark as bycatches or incidental catches also contribute to the shark

Shark finning has been banned in the European Union since 2003, and is illegal in the US and Eastern Pacific. However, there are some serious loopholes in the legislation. The amount of sharks caught incidentally varies according to fishing method and circumstance. So, it is impossible to determine exactly how many sharks have been caught unintentionally. For Longline fishing vessels – which set a line up to 100km long, baited with up to 3,000 hooks - incidental catch ranges from almost nothing to around 20%. For Purse-seiners 40-50% is typical. When fishing vessels come into ports such as Pohnpei, they must show their logbooks,-a record how much of each fish species they have caught - to officials

If the weight of shark carcasses is within the expected range for the fishing method, the haul is assumed to be incidental bycatch. A further loophole surrounds the issue of the fins being cut from the shark’s carcass. Obviously, there should only be one set of fins per carcass. However, the assessment is made by weight, not number. .(http://oceans.greenpeace.org/en/the-expedition/news/shark-fin-mystery)

*shark bycatches are not necessarily dead species

allowing shark fins to be brought in is definitely good for the money, which a lot of people seem to be focused on, but not good for our waters shark population in the long run. imagine being underwater in palau and waiting for the one sark that rarely or sometimes never appears just because of a senators idea to repeal it. we speak of exploiting bycatches but still need to come up with solid methods of how to go about it efficiently. remember that shark bycatches are also the contributing factors to shark pop decline


I won't be surprised if they do. I came across JT
before the general election and while we were talking about the mood of the people and what they feel. He told me to check out Okedyulabeluu. That was very surprising because I have been part of okedyulabeluu for many years and never in my wildest dream would I have thought of JT reading our blogs.

Your two cents could very much bring some light that is needed. Hopefully they are as open minded as all of us. Wish you luck on your case and thanks for helping your fellow Palauans. It's always good to know that there are still people out there on the Peoples side especially when everything we have been hearing on the PSB case has been bad news to those who lost their money.

God Bless my Friend,


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