Palau, the Coral Reef Paradise

Considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the crystal clear and wonderfully warm water of Palau makes home to one of the most biologically diverse coral reefs in the world!

This is the home of over 1,500 species of fish and there have been over 700 different species of coral reefs recorded in this magic place. Coral reefs take a long time to grow and as they grew over time, geological forces pushed some of the coral reefs up out of the water and they can still be seen today, it is quite a wonder to behold; being pushed up out of the water did not stop the coral reefs for long, because new colonies were soon started that repopulated the underwater slopes.

These days, Palau is the place to go if you want to put in some first-class underwater diving, God really knew what He was doing when He created the underwater reefs of Palau! There is probably nothing more moving then seeing the wonder and detailed beauty of the Creator's hand. Because we people have the tendency to associate things that we do not quite understand with things from our everyday lives, when a diver swims across the reef he will see gardens of gorgeous wild flowers, and trees and bushes that come in almost every color; it is enough to take a person's breath away.

Some of the most graceful fish in the world call this magic wonderland home, among them is the yellow Butterfly fish, the blue-headed wrasses and even the emperor black next to these exotic beauties is the puffer fish; did you know that he can inflate his spiny body up to the size of a football? There is also the remarkable looking trunkfish.

Something else that you can find here is the thing that used to be shown as a real sea is the giant clams that can reach a size of up to three feet long. Old timer movies used to show these clams off as monsters that would grad diver's feet and hold them under the water in an attempt to drown them. This is not true, however, because these sweet big giants eat nothing more than plankton and really do not care about the divers anymore then they wonder how many stars are in the sky. Another curiosity is the red and green brittle stars, these fascinating little creatures have arms that can break off at the slightest bit of pressure, this is a great protection against predators.

Other fish that like to have some of the reefs' fish for dinner are the sharks; these awesome predators come to the reef attracted to the wide variety of fish that is on the menu for them. Some other giants that come in are the manta-rays and the sea-rays, these huge creatures have wingspans of several feet and have little to worry from sharks or other predators.

Something besides the reef that is worth visiting is the Jelly-fish lake, visibility is very poor and the water is green and quite warm , but in this lake people have the opportunity to swim with jellyfish without fear of being stung. These Jelly fish do not have any stingers because there are no predators in the lake that are interested in them, what an experience, to be able to go home and say that you were able to swim with jelly fish!

Not everything is bright and cheerful at the islands of Palau, live reef fisheries have moved into the area, this is where foreign fisherman come in; they are working for some company or another and select a target fish and then totally exhaust the fish supply in that particular area, whole populations of fish have been wiped out because of this reckless and thoughtless act. This not only has a deep impact on the underwater food chain, but also it deprives native fisherman of the one thing that enabled them to make a livelihood for themselves and their family. In only a matter of months the whole breeding population of the target species can be wiped out, and that particular species can take a very long time to repopulate if they manage at all. This can be devastating to the coral reefs and it can be devastating to Palau and the people that live there.

God gave us this planet to watch over and take care of, I am not against fishing, it just needs to be done within reason, and with the good of the local economy in mind. Two things that live reef fishing does not do.

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