PCS Update

Ghost Fishing has come to Pulo Ana in the Southwest Islands. Ghost fishing is term used to describe the fact that fish nets and traps lost at sea continue to wastefully trap and kill sea creatures – including billbish, stomach turtles, mind corals, lobsters, birds, and even whales. These lost nets and traps are a form of marine debris, a worldwide problem. The ship which grounded at Pulo Ana had a purse seine on board which washed off the deck, tangled on the reef, and began ghost fishing. An interagency team went to Pulo Ana with Governor Jacob Yangilmau to assess the extent of damage from the net and to plan for its removal. Fortunately, the weather was good and the tides favorable. Teams from EQPB and PCS cut the net hanging from the ship and laying on the reef. Most part of the net remains on the deck. This will be removed in the future. The  part of the net in the water with fishing floats was dragged to shore where it remains. But another part of the net remains outside the reef as deep as 40 feet, draped over two coral ridges and two small canyons. This will need to be removed to protect Pulo Ana’s main food source – the reef and its creatures. Pulo Ana is 283 miles south-west of Koror. The name of the ship is Klarissa II. The Klarissa II flies two different flags. One is a flag from the Philippines and the other is a flag from Indonesia. The length of Klarissa II is 122 feet, and it weighs 189 tons. Its fuel capacity is 13,000 liters. The fish catch it carried at the time it ran aground was 20 tons. It ran aground at 3 am on January 6, 2012. The team from EQPB interviewed the residents of Pulo Ana if the fuel from the ship has leaked to the reef, which fortunately it has not. PCS also made a quick ecological assessment and fortunately found not much damage to species. The size of the purse seine fishing net was 2 x 2 inches. It is made of nylon and very hard to break. Please do not discard or leave fishing nets, fishing nets, fishing lines, fish traps in the ocean unattended or revisited. This incident of grounded vessel on a reef is a good wake-up call to the people of Palau and Micronesia  to exercise more caution and reminders about the protection of marine species diversity.

Than you for watching this outreach program from the Palau Conservation Society for the protection of marine species diversity for the people of Palau and Micronesia.