Dermot Keane, Founder of Palau Shark Sanctuary, and manager of a local dive business also addressed the crowd and urged them to support the passage of a declaration by the Republic of Palau to establish the waters within Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone, as a sanctuary for all sharks within. Palau Shark Sanctuary was founded in Koror, Palau on November 2001, in response to the ongoing destructive practice of “shark-finning” by foreign fishing fleets in Palau's waters. Shark Sanctuary supports itself through sales of its private logo merchandise, donating proceeds to programs and agencies joining them in their fight to save Palau's sharks. “Loss of Palau's sharks threatens not only Palau's underwater environment but also its entire dive industry, a mainstay of Palau's economy” Keane said. “As Palau is internationally recognized among top dive destinations in the world, it is therefore fitting that Palau takes a leadership role in the worldwide battle to end the destructive practice of shark-finning” he went on to say.
Palau Shark Sanctuary goal is to achieve a declaration by the Republic of Palau, perpetually establishing all waters within Palau's Exclusive Economic Zone, as a World Shark Sanctuary offering protection to all sharks within. Keane says he realizes that establishing a World Shark Sanctuary in Palau is a big challenge but believes it is a worthwhile goal nonetheless, and one that will benefit Palau and its economy in the years to come.