Shark Savers' "Thank you to Palau" book presented to Palauan President Toribiong

Posted on April 16, 2010
Written by: Shark Savers
Tags: Haischutzgebiete Projekt 


You may recall that Shark Savers fielded two petitions regarding Palau. The first one opposed a bad shark fishing law and the second one thanked Palau for subsequently protecting sharks by creating the National Shark Sanctuary. We created a book consisting of your signatures and comments for presentation to President Toribiong. Today, our book was presented to the President on our behalf by our friend, Dermot Keane of the Palau Shark Sanctuary. Here is Dermot's report:

I met with the President re: Shark Savers' Thank You. Others present were Mr. Ngirai Tmetuchel, Special Advisor to the President and Ms. Bernadette Carreon, Reporter, Palau Horizon (she’ll do a story in local paper which will be syndicated on line) and a few of the Presidents staff.

I gave a brief history / reminder of how Shark Savers answered the call by Palau Shark Sanctuary to rally international support to prevent the undoing of Palau’s landmark shark protection legislation as proposed in Senate Bill 8-44.  Shark Savers created an on line petition calling on Palau to block SB 8-44 which resulted in conservation minded people around the world rising to the call. Those messages and petition were already provided to Palau’s President and copied to the Senate, Belau Tourism Association, Chamber of Commerce and others.

Dermot-Toribiong2-lg.jpgFollowing the President’s announcement at the U.N. Shark Savers again rose to the call and gathered over 1500 signatures on a Thank You note to the President for his ground breaking shark sanctuary announcement and wise leadership in conservation. 

I told the President that I was there on behalf of Shark Savers and Executive Director Michael Skoletsky to present the printed and bound “thank you” signatures and to extend the deepest gratitude of Shark Savers and the thousands of people who signed the petition and the thank you, for the Presidents Shark Sanctuary announcement.

I read your letter to the President after which I presented him the award on yours and Shark Savers behalf.

The President was deeply moved. He smiled when I mentioned the on line petition as there is no doubt he  “heard the noise” at the time.

He extended his thanks to Sharks Savers and those who signed the petition and thank you note for their positive and constructive contribution to the protection of sharks. He sends his best wishes to you and all Shark Savers and vowed to continue his efforts to fulfill his vision for Palau Shark Sanctuary.


Below is the text of the letter accompanying the book:

Thank_you_Palau.jpgDear President Toribiong,

It is with great pleasure that we present to you this book containing the signatures and messages from the many people throughout the world who are grateful for your actions to protect the sharks of Palau.

As you read through the comments in the book, you will notice how greatly moved we all are that you have taken this important and bold action. Palau has become much more than a place in our diving logs, but a place in our hearts, as well.

Sharks are important to us, to Palau, and to the world. After Palau took its pioneering step, the Maldives has joined you in declaring its waters a shark sanctuary. Honduras has placed a moratorium on shark fishing as it considers doing the same. We hope that you have started a trend among the nations that harbor the remaining sharks.

We also thank Palau for taking the lead at CITES to protect shark species from international trade. While we are all disappointed at the lack of progress at CITES this year, we thank you for leading the fight.