Source WCPFC
Welcome to Palau
Last updated February 22, 2013
We are glad to introduce Palau, also known as "The Black Islands", one of the world’s most unique islands and the country hosting the WCPFC annual meetings.

Palau's population is around 21,000 people spread out over 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. Palau shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Federated States of Micronesia. As a common characteristic from the Pacifical countries, even though Palau has a small land area, its EEZ is as big as the country of France (604,289 km2).

We hope you find this information useful.
General Information
Capital Ngerulmuda
Official languages English
Land Area 459 Km2 (177 sq mi)
EEZ 604,289 km2
As big as the country of France
Population  20,956
Currency United States Dollar
See complete table
Source Wikipedia
Tuna Catching Data
1. National Catching Data by Domestic Fleet
Source WCPFC
There are no records of National Catching Data after 2004. The tables of annual catch estimates for individual fleets cover those years during which the fleet is known to have fished; the lack of recent years in a table implies that the fleet has ceased fishing.
Source WCPFC
Source WCPFC

2. Total Catch in Palau Waters in MT by Domestic and Foreign Fleet

Source WCPFC
The total 2010 tuna catches were 2,590 MT
  • Albacore 7 MT (0%)
  • Bigeye 811 MT (31%)
  • Skipjack 319 MT (12%)
  • Yellowfin 1,453 (56%)
  • Catches by Purse Seine 367 MT
    • Bigeye 9 MT (2%)
    • Skipjack 319 MT (87%)
    • Yellowfin 39 MT (10%)
  • Catches by longliners 2,223 MT
    • Albacore 7 MT (0%)
    • Bigeye 802 MT (36%)
    • Yellowfin 1,414 MT (64%)
Palau manages a Vessel Day Scheme (VDS)
The VDS is a scheme under the Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Purse Seine Fishery (PNA, 2004), which establishes a system of tradable fishing days allocated to the Parties as Party Allowable Effort (PAE). The Arrangement was established to
  • Regulate the total allowable effort by purse seine vessels licensed by the Parties at any one time, in response to scientific advice on resource sustainability.
  • Provide a basis for increasing economic benefits to resource-owning states and economic returns to participating vessel owners.
The country was originally settled around 3,000 years ago by migrants from the Philippines, with a Negrito population sustained until around 900 years ago. The islands were first visited by Europeans in the 18th century, and were made part of the Spanish East Indies in 1885. Following Spain's defeat in the Spanish–American War in 1898, the islands were sold to Imperial Germany in 1899 under the terms of the German–Spanish Treaty, where they were administered as part of German New Guinea.

The Imperial Japanese Navy annexed Palau during World War I, and the islands were later made a part of the Japanese-ruled South Pacific Mandate by the League of Nations. During World War II, skirmishes, including the major Battle of Peleliu, were fought between American and Japanese troops as part of the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign. Along with other Pacific Islands, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. Having voted against joining the newly independent Federated States of Micronesia in 1979, the islands gained full sovereignty in 1994 under a Compact of Free Association with the United States.

Pacific islanders have relied on marine resources as their main source of food, and fishing skills and knowledge were recognized as the status symbol of both wisdom and masculinity among many Pacific cultures.
Palau A PNA member

In 1982, Palau joined the Parties of the Nauru Agreement along to all the other 6 members through the coordination of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). Tuvalu joined later. Today the PNA office is independent and was created in 2010, based in Majuro, Marshall Islands.

In December 2011, the purse-seine free-school skipjack fishery, was certified according to Marine Stewardship Council standards as being sustainable. This means that all skipjack products caught from free schools by PNA-licensed and product-chain-certified purse-seiners fishing in the waters of Palau or any of the PNA countries EEZ will be eligible for the sustainable and globally well know MSC ecolabel.

Palau is a small country in the Western Pacific comprised of 340 islands which lie between 131°-135°E and 2°- 8°N, 500 kilometers east of the Philippines. Palau is located within FAO statistical area 71, the Western Central Pacific, has a land mass of approximately 488 km2 and an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of around 604,289 km2.

Palau's most populous islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu. The latter three lie together within the same barrier reef, while Angaur is an oceanic island several miles to the south. About two-thirds of the population lives on Koror. The coral atoll of Kayangel is situated north of these islands, while the uninhabited Rock Islands (about 200) are situated to the west of the main island group. A remote group of six islands, known as the Southwest Islands, some 375 miles (604 km) from the main islands, are also part of the country and make up the states of Hatohobei and Sonsorol.
Palau's economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. Tourist activity focuses on scuba diving and snorkeling in the islands' rich marine environment, including its barrier reefs walls and World War II wrecks.

The service sector dominates the Palauan economy, contributing more than 80% of GDP and employing three-quarters of the work force. The government alone employs nearly 30% of workers. One of the government's main responsibilities is administering external assistance. Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association with the United States, Palau will receive more than $450 million in assistance over 15 years and is eligible to participate in more than 40 federal programs. The first grant of $142 million was made in 1994. Further annual payments in lesser amounts will be made through 2009. U.S. grants in 1999 totaled $24 million.

Construction is the most important industrial activity, contributing over 9% of GDP. Agriculture is mainly on a subsistence level, the principal crops being coconuts, root crops, and bananas. Fishing is a potential source of revenue, but the islands' tuna output dropped by over one-third during the 1990s.

The population enjoys a per capita income twice that of Micronesia as a whole. Long-term prospects for the key tourist sector have been greatly bolstered by the expansion of air travel in the Pacific, the rising prosperity of leading East Asian countries, and the willingness of foreigners to finance infrastructure development.
The country's two official languages are Palauan, a member of the wider Sunda–Sulawesi language group, and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobianrecognised as regional languages.
The German and Japanese occupations of Palau both subsidized missionaries (first brought to the islands by Spain). Three quarters of the population are Christians (mainly Roman Catholics and Protestants), while Modekngei (a combination of Christianity, traditional Palauan religion and fortune telling) and the ancient Palauan religion are commonly observed.
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