The marine sanctuary of Palau prohibits almost all sun creams

The marine sanctuary of Palau prohibits almost all sun creams
One of the islands that constitute the archipelago. (Wikimedia Commons)

Already in 2014, the country’s government decided to ban commercial fishing. The president announces that this new decision “takes note” of the scientific evidence

Despite being a Pacific archipelago, those who visit it will no longer be able to protect their skin from the sun’s rays with sun creams. The Republic of Palau – a group of 500 islands located in Oceania, in the Micronesia region – has put an end to the use of these products due to their negative impact on the environment, since when dissolved in water, they are harmful to corals and the rest of marine species.

Since yesterday, almost all creams are prohibited, under a fine of one thousand dollars (more than 890 euros), in addition to the confiscation of the products. The country’s president, Tommy Remengesau, justified the measure: “The environment is a nest of life and we have to respect it”. The few brands that are saved from the ban are those that do not use oxybenzone or octinoxate, ultraviolet blockers very common in the market.

As explained by the leader to the AFP, this decision “takes note” of the recommendations of science, which has already shown how harmful these substances are for the development of certain marine species, especially for corals.

And this is not the only prohibition implemented during the last decade in Palau to maintain its biodiversity, famous among divers for its clear waters. In 2014, the end of commercial fishing was decreed throughout the Exclusive Economic Zone of the country. “This is something that surpasses the economic losses in the income of companies or other countries. We are talking about a way of life that will be decimated if we do not take responsible actions”, Remengesau told Australian television network ABC.