The islands of Palau.

Image: Reinhard Dirscherl/Corbis Images

Palau, with its 340 islands and more than 1,300 species of fish, is a paradise for marine life. Located in Micronesia in the Pacific, it’s a popular destination for its beaches, diving and surfing.

In an attempt to preserve its pristine environment, 80% of the country’s waters will become a marine sanctuary this week where no commercial fishing or mining can take place. Larger than California, the sanctuary will stretch for 500,000 square kilometres (193,000 square miles).

“Island communities have been among the hardest hit by the threats facing the ocean. Creating this sanctuary is a bold move that the people of Palau recognize as essential to our survival,” Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jrsaid in a statement. Read more…

More about Us World, Climate, Australia, Palau, and Marine Sanctuary

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Dazzling photos from a Pacific marine sanctuary larger than California