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Haven in the Pacific

Lost millions from restricted fishing return with tourists

THE Senate passed the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) legislation on third and final reading on Oct. 15 with amendments from the House version of the bill incorporated in the Senate version. By a vote of 10-0 Senate Bill 9-30, SD2 also included a provision which proposes a scheme to replace the lost fishing rights revenues once the PNMS is implemented.
 
To recoup the revenues that will be lost from the fishing licenses of the existing foreign fishing vessels, an environmental impact fee of $100 dollars will be collected from tourists leaving Palau.
 
A portion of the money will go to the states as fishing rights funds while another potion of the fee will be allocated to the Civil Service Pension fund, the rest will go to the fund the Protected Areas Network and the national treasury.
 
The Senate version also included a provision, which will now require tourists visiting Palau to obtain visas. Citizens of the United States, Federated of the States of Micronesia (FSM) and Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) will be exempted from the visa requirements.
 
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