Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fishing in Palau

The moment the boat pulls out of the dock and pushes far out into the water, the day or night of the fisherman begins. He wanders out into as far as 15 miles or more from the shore into an adventure that would bring food on the table for his family.

Palau is blessed with waters rich and crawling with a rich variety of fishes not found in any other part of the world.
Here, oceanic fishes, deep water bottom fishes, and shallow to deep water fishes abound. Among the usual catch in Palau waters are billfish as well as tuna, trevally, grouper, mahimahi, wahoo, snapper, skip jack, napoleon, twin spot snapper, sweet lips, orange spine unicorn, and others.
They come in all shapes and sizes that could give a fisherman a serious run for money.

No fisherman comes home empty handed in Palau. Johnny, a fisherman at the Happy Fish Market said whether you go fishing during the daytime or night time does not matter because there are kinds of fish that can be caught during the day and there are some that can be caught only at night.

Johnny said different kinds of fish abound during different seasons. Life for a fisherman varies. There is always the threat of a storm brewing up and he forces to leave his fears behind as he goes to the sea but this can be replaced by total satisfaction when he goes home and hauls in a bountiful catch.

Records show that in May 1997, senior representatives of the Japan Game Fishing Association visited Palau to explore the island's fishing potential. The five man-team, who targeted everything from blue marlin to giant trevally and red snapper was reportedly delighted with what they found and expressed a desire to promote a catch-and-release fishery in Palau.

In support, the team is working closely with the Palau Conservation Society, which is spearheading efforts on the island to develop a "sustainable and economically beneficial sport-fishing industry."
To continually protect and conserve its waters, Palau's congress has considered legislation that would actually make the support of sport fishing a matter of national policy, designating areas to be reserved solely for sport-fishing development, inaugurating a system for training and licensing professional charter captains and guides and, presumably, better policing its waters against the often illegal intrusion of Asian longliners.

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