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[Radio Australia] Palau Considers Drone Surveillance For Fishing Ban

Remengesau says air surveillance needed in Palau waters

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, March 25, 2013) – The Pacific island nation of Palau is looking at the possibility of using drones to operate fisheries surveillance, if a proposed complete ban on commercial fishing comes into force.

Palau has a huge exclusive economic zone to patrol and only one patrol boat, and President Tommy Remengesau admits that his proposed ban on commercial fishing is ambitious.

Mr. Remengesau says a second base and fuel depot is going to be set up in Palau’s fisheries rich south-west islands.

He says that base is only part of the plan.

“You will need an air surveillance capability and so we’re working with a number of our partners, both NGOs as well as governments, to see the possibility of using drones, unmanned airplanes,” he said.

“What better use of the drones than to use it for surveillance purposes? So that’s a technology Palau wishes to pursue and we hope that a partnership can be struck in the near future to do that.”

Mr. Remengesau says he’s convinced Palau can make a lot more from tourism than it gets from licensing boats to fish for tuna.

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra
Copyright © 2013 Radio Australia. All Rights Reserved

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