“Koror (Palau) (AFP) – The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau created a vast marine sanctuary the size of Spain on Wednesday, banning fishing across the bulk of its waters to preserve the ocean for future generations.
At 500,000 square kilometres (193,000 square miles), the new sanctuary is one of the largest in the world and covers an underwater wonderland containing 1,300 species of fish and 700 types of coral.
Palau President Tommy Remengesau said the sanctuary, comprising 80 percent of the nation’s maritime territory, would allow the ocean to heal after decades of industrialised fishing which has driven some species to the brink of extinction.
“A small island nation can have a big impact on the ocean,” he said ahead of a ceremony Wednesday to officially sign off on the reserve.”
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