Palau. In June, Palau was reported to follow Indonesia’s example and began to fire foreign ships caught fishing illegally in the country’s waters. According to COUNTRYAAH, Melekeok is the capital of Palau which is located in Micronesia. Several Vietnamese fishing vessels had then been captured and burned. The captains were detained while the crews were sent home. Palau’s President Tommy Remengesau hoped that the measures would send a clear signal to the outside world that the country does not tolerate predatory fishing in its territorial waters.
In September, formal diplomatic relations were established between Palau and Cuba. This was done at a ceremony with both countries’ presidents present at a UN meeting in New York.
In October, it was announced that the government approved the creation of a marine nature reserve that will occupy 80% of the country’s offshore territory, which corresponds to an area almost as large as Sweden’s land area. The area will be protected from fishing and oil drilling. President Remengesau commented on the decision by stating that even small island nations can have a great influence over what happens with the world oceans.