This whole area will become a shark sanctuary. Conservationists are enthusiastic about Palau’s announcement because many shark species are seriously threatened. It is estimated that there are about 130 rare shark and stingray species living in or passing through Palau’s waters.
One of the largest threats for sharks is the increasing consumption of shark-fin soup. This dish is particularly popular in Asian countries. According to the president of Palau the pleasure of a bowl of shark-fin soup does not outweigh the need to save this animal species from extinction.
It remains to be seen, by the way, whether Palau is capable of monitoring shark fishing in the reserve: If fishers are caught, a heavy fine awaits them, but Palau only has one patrol boat to monitor the entire area.