View from the Blue Blog reviewed Palau this month and commercial shark diving with a disturbing postscript:
For all its wonders Palau still sits on a knife edge. Like many of us they have been struggling lately and they hope that shark tourism will be a route out of recession. They certainly need to be supported for their stance. Well run shark eco-tourism can be positive for all parties. The tourists, the local economy and of course the sharks all benefit. If however Palau don't see a marked improvement in their economy rest assured that the fishing fleets of the world are ready and waiting in the wings. It would take maybe as little as a couple of years to turn Palau into 'just another dive location', rather than the incredibly special oasis that I witnessed during my time there.
Disappointingly I've been hearing strong rumours that shark fishing/finning continues in Palau waters with the fishing fleets using a 'mothership' set up outside of Palau's territorial waters to stop them having to land the sharks and fins in Palau. Like I said these are just rumours that I'm hearing, but it shows just how hard it is to police marine areas even when protection is in place!