I recently joined video journalist David O' Shea, who had just completed his PADI Open Water Diver Certification with Instructor Jim Wilke of Sam's Tours Palau, as he plunges underwater for his very first scuba dive and into the controversy over saving the ocean's top predator. Coincidentally, it was also my very first dive in the newly created Palau Shark Sanctuary following President Toribiong's historic announcement at the United Nations in September 2009.
Palau has delcared itself the world's first national shark sanctuary. It's in response to the massive plunder of sharks that occurs in its vast territorial waters, part of an estimated 100 million sharks killed each year. This carnage is being fueled by Asia's rapidly growing appetite for shark fin soup. The sharks are captured, have their fins hacked off and are then thrown overboard to die.
Tiny Palau has warned the world it will protect its natural resources, but with only one patrol boat, can the shark sanctuary ever be enforced? Watch our report and take a look at our photo gallery of behind the scenes photos and underwater pictures from David's story.
DATELINE is Australia's longest-running international current affairs program presented by George Negus and a team of acclaimed producers and video journalists.
Click Here for David O' Shea's report.