Priced Off the Menu? Palau’s Sharks Are Worth $1.9 Million Each, a Study Says

David Jolly
Source: The New York Times
May 2, 2011

Palau – “Sharks can be worth far more when they are swimming around the reef than when they are in a bowl of soup—as much as nearly $2 million each, in fact, according to the results of a study released Monday.

For the study, researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science considered the expenditures of divers who travel from around the world to the tiny Pacific nation of Palau to dive with the mainly gray reef and reef whitetip sharks that inhabit its waters, which were declared a shark sanctuary in 2009.

As a remote country of more than 300 islands—Manila, 530 miles away, is the closest city of consequence—Palau does not have many attractions beyond diving, so spending by international tourists on airfare, lodging and diving makes up an important part of the nation’s economy”

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