Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Friday, January 31, 2020

Google aims AI at whales, words and well-being

Yahoo – AFP, January 28, 2020

Google said it was developing ways to use artificial in tracking whales as
part of efforts to protect endangered species (AFP Photo/Olivier MORIN)

San Francisco (AFP) - Google on Tuesday provided a look at efforts to put artificial intelligence to use for good, from protecting whales to breaking language barriers.

The internet giant unveiled projects on AI work teams a week after Google chief executive Sundar Pichai urged a "proportional approach" to regulating the technology.

Among demonstrations on Tuesday was a "bioacoustics" project using AI to help scientists, governments and nonprofit groups track endangered species.

Two years ago, Google partnered with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration to track humpback whales by using AI recognize the sound of whales in audio captured by underwater microphones.

Google on Tuesday announced an alliance with environmental groups to track critically endangered killer whales in the Salish Sea using AI.

"We trained a deep neural network that automatically and immediately detects orcas and sends alerts to Canadian harbor managers," Google said.

Another AI team showed how Google translation software that already lets smartphones serve as interpreters is being enhanced to power a new feature to transcribe what is being said in real time and provide the results in text.

"With this, your Android mobile phone will effectively turn into an almost real time translator device for long-form speech," Google said.

Google's AI endeavors include infusing cords, headphone cables, clothing drawstrings or other textiles with gesture-sensing capabilities that could allow electronic devices to be controlled with squeezes or twists.

Google engineers are also exploring using AI to help with medical diagnostics, such as detecting signs of cancer or eye disease in scans.

Pichai, also boss of Google's parent company Alphabet, argued before an audience at a Brussels think tank, Bruegel, that companies like his own -- an internet behemoth valued at $1 trillion -- need to be given a say as governments formulate AI regulatory policy.

AI is seen as an area where developments and applications risk outpacing regulatory measures unless authorities act swiftly.

"There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated," Pichai said, while stressing that Google wants "to offer our expertise, experience, and tools as we grapple with the inevitable tensions and trade-offs."

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Revenge of the albatross: seabirds expose illicit fishing

Yahoo – AFP, Marlowe HOOD, January 27, 2020

Snagged by longlines, tangled in nets, and shot at by sailors, the world's largest
flying seabird is today a front-line agent in the fight against illegal fishing (AFP Photo/STR)

Paris (AFP) - For the magnificent but maligned albatross, it was time for a little payback after centuries of insult and injury.

Snagged by longlines, tangled in nets, shot at by sailors, and scorned by poets as lazy or a bad omen, the world's largest flying seabird is today a front-line agent in the fight against illegal fishing, according to a study published Monday.

Indeed, a squadron of 169 albatross fitted with cutting-edge communications gear revealed that a third of the vessels plying Antarctic waters below the Indian Ocean are very likely filling their hulls unlawfully with toothfish, ice fish, krill and other bounty from the icy waters.

On the high seas beyond national economic zones, anything goes.

But some of the choicest hunting grounds in that region lie within the territorial waters of South Africa around Prince Edward and Marion Islands, and France, near the Crozet and Kerguelen Islands.

"It's the first time we've had an estimate like this for detecting illegal fishing ships," said Henri Weimerskirch, a marine biologist at France's National Centre for Scientific Research and lead author of the study, in the journal PNAS.

For six months starting in November 2018, the albatross -- which have the wingspan of a small car -- patrolled more than 47 million square kilometres (18 million square miles) of open ocean.

The birds are perfectly adapted for the mission, Weimerskirch told AFP.

They cover great distances and are particularly attracted to fishing boats -- especially the fish or fish parts thrown overboard.

To turn the albatross into high-flying spies, a team of scientists designed a light-weight device with a GPS antenna to track location, another antenna to detect ship radar, a third one to send the data back to headquarters -- and a solar panel to power them all.

The units were mounted on the backs of the birds, which seemed unperturbed by the extra cargo.

All registered fishing vessels have an automated identification system (AIS) that is supposed to remain activated.

Albatrosses fly great distances and are particularly attracted to fishing boats

'Like drones, only intelligent'

"On certain Chinese or Spanish ships the signal suddenly goes silent when they approach an economic zone," Weimerskirch said. "That means they're fishing in the boundary area."

That's a problem for out-gunned enforcement forces and conservationists trying to prevent rogue commercial ships from emptying the oceans of edible lifeforms.

Most alternative monitoring systems are impracticable.

Flying is too costly and hit-or-miss. Satellite-based radars that detect metal mass are also expensive, and only work when the probe happens to be in orbit overhead. They can also be thrown off by choppy seas.

But even when a ship turns off the AIS system, it still needs radar to navigate and avoid collisions, which gave researchers something else to home in on.

Airborne albatross can spot a vessel from 30 kilometres away, and will consistently come in for a closer look once they do.

"They're like drones, only intelligent," said Weimerskirch.

When a bird zeros in on a boat, its logger detects the radar signal and sends the coordinates back to the scientists.

Of 353 radar contacts made, about 30 percent were from vessels that had turned off their AIS systems. If they were in national waters, that is a likely sign of illegal activity, the researchers reported.

Reviled in Coleridge's 1798 epic "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and mocked by French poet Baudelaire as ungainly on a ship's deck, the albatross, it seems, has finally turned the tables.

Called Ocean Sentinel, the "proof of concept" mission is part of a larger programme exploring the use of animals in the gathering of data for conservation aims.

Also being tested in New Zealand and Hawaii, the technology could be adapted for other marine creatures such as sharks and sea turtles.

Monday, January 20, 2020

US dumps huge amounts of sand on Miami Beach to tackle climate change erosion

Yahoo –AFP, January 17, 2020

Heavy machinery dumping sand at Miami Beach shoreline in Miami Beach on January 17,
2020, opart of a plan to protect the beach from the effects of climate change and
hurricanes (AFP Photo/Eva Marie UZCATEGUI)

Miami Beach (United States) (AFP) - Dozens of trucks have started dumping hundreds of thousands of tons of sand on Miami Beach as part of US government measures to protect Florida's tourist destinations against the effects of climate change.

"We have erosion hotspots," said Stephen Leatherman, an expert on beaches and the environment at Florida International University.

"When the beach is critically narrow, there's not enough room for recreation for all the people that come here, and more important, perhaps, all these buildings need to be protected," he said Friday.

Leatherman -- known locally as "Dr Beach" -- said that rising sea levels, triggered by climate change, are causing the accelerated erosion of the famous beach, as well as coastal storms and in particular hurricanes.

The Army Corps of Engineers this month began the $16 million operation to dump 233,000 cubic meters (8.2 million cubic feet) of sand on eroded areas of Miami Beach by June, a project that was originally designed to address damage wrought by Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Every day from January 17, 2020 until June, trucks will tip between 100 and 250 loads, 
each containing 22 tons of sand, onto Miami beach (AFP Photo/Eva Marie UZCATEGUI)

Every day, trucks will tip between 100 and 250 loads, each containing 22 tons of sand, onto the beach, the Army said in a statement.

"Some people say it's like throwing millions of dollars out in the ocean every year and maybe they're right, but we have to do it; we have to have the beach here," said Leatherman.

"South Florida is considered ground zero for climate change," he said. "I mean, not only do we have beach erosion, we got flooding going on during King tides, which happen all too often now, where some roads get flooded."

A King tide is an especially high spring tide.

The project is part of an overall $158 million federally funded plan to protect Miami from hurricanes and control beach erosion.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Pope praises fishermen who clean up polluted seas

MSN – AFP, 18 January 2020

Pope Francis on Saturday praised fishermen cleaning up polluted seas by collecting the rubbish caught in their nets and bringing it back to land to dispose of it.

It is estimated that 80 percent of waste in the sea comes from land and 20 
percent from boats and the fishing industry (Filippo MONTEFORTE)

Fishermen from San Benedetto del Tronto in Italy, who voluntarily collect around a tonne of litter a week and then sort it to be recycled where possible, met Francis at the Vatican.

"I would like to express my particular appreciation for the seabed clean-up," Francis told them.

"This initiative is very important, both for the large amount of waste, especially plastic waste, that you have recovered, and -- and I would say above all -- because it can and is already becoming a repeatable model in other areas of Italy and abroad".

Fishermen say they get so much plastic in their nets that it stops 
them being able to catch fish (Filippo MONTEFORTE)

Some 60 percent of the waste the fishermen collect is plastic.

The pope said the project was a great example of how civil society could to its part to help fix global problems -- and hoped it would inspire institutions to step up and shoulder their own responsibilities.

It is estimated that 80 percent of waste in the sea comes from land and 20 percent from boats and the fishing industry.

A study by the peer-reviewed Public Library of Science (PLOS) published in 2015 estimated that the Mediterranean contains 1,000-3,000 tonnes of floating plastic, with an unknown quantity on the seabed.

The Nile river delivers at least 1,500 tonnes of plastic into the Med annually, according to the PLOS study.

Sperm whales wash up regularly on Italian beaches, their stomachs full of plastic, and fishermen tell of getting so much plastic in their nets that it stops them being able to catch fish.

Much of the rubbish is single-use, such as bottles, plates and cutlery, but also includes old nets from fishing or mussel farming and assorted random plastic objects, from medical products to fax machine parts.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Rare albino seal returned to the wild has good chance of survival

DutchNews, January 16, 2020 - By Hanneke Sanou 

The albino seal with transmitter. Photo: Ecomare

The albino seal that was returned to the wild on Wednesday stands a good chance of survival, seal sanctuary Ecomare has told 

The seal, the first albino ever treated at Ecomare, was brought into the centre on Texel in October. The animal was emaciated and was suffering from a lungworm infection. 

Mariette Smit, head of the animal care department at Ecomare said albinism in wild seals happens occasionally but that very little is known about it. 

‘We have no reason to doubt that he will not survive,’ Smit told ‘Seals are top predators, they have no natural enemies in the Wadden Sea, and we don’t expect any social problems in his relationship with other seals. They are solitary animals in general even though they cluster on the same sandbanks.’ 

The only problem the seal may have is with its eyes, which are very sensitive to light. ‘It will adapt by narrowing his eyes to keep out the brightness’, Smit said. 

The seal has been fitted with a transmitter so Ecomare can keep track of the seal’s journey through the Wadden Sea as well  as collect other data, for instance how long it rests and how deep it dives. Ecomare also wants to know how seals that have spent time at the centre interact with other seals.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Temperatures rise across Europe's far north

Yahoo – AFP, Helene DAUSCHY, January 7, 2020

The normally frigid fjords in Norway's Arctic Circle in winter are experiencing
temperatures higher than normal this year (AFP Photo/Olivier MORIN)

Stockholm (AFP) - From the Norwegian fjords to Russian cities, record warm temperatures with less snow and rain have left the far north of Europe still waiting for the Arctic winter.

Sunndalsora, a small town in western Norway registered 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) last Thursday, a temperature never seen before in the Nordic country at this time of year.

A local mayor marked the new year by filming himself swimming in water much colder than the air.

The temperate climate is due to warm winds which are expected to sweep through the region again this week, according to Norwegian forecasters. They added however these winds are not unusual and such warm spells are not necessarily linked to climate change.

Still temperatures have been higher than normal for the season.

In Sweden, temperatures over the past few days have climbed some 5C degrees higher than normal in the south of the Scandinavian country, and 10C degrees higher in the north.

"On 2 January three stations in central Sweden reported their highest January temperatures since 1971," Sverker Hellstrom, climatologist at the Swedish meteorological institute told AFP.

In Sweden's Lapland, the owner of a dog sled business claimed it has been one of the warmest winters in decades, with huge swings in temperature.

Donald Eriksson pointed out that on January 7 it was minus 36C degrees but on Tuesday it was above freezing at 1C degree.

"The trend is clear: in the last 15 years, and especially in the last 10, winter has been shortened by a month and a half on average," Eriksson told AFP by phone.

Shorter winters

In southern Finland where temperatures in December were 4.5C degrees higher than normal, winter has not even begun yet, according to the local weather service.

Meteorological estimates indicate that in January in the region, there will not be a real winter, defined as the number of days with below freezing temperatures.

Oslo, for example, has lost 21 days of winter over the last three decades, forecasters said, predicting that shorter winters will continue.

"By 2050, more than one million Norwegians will live in areas with less than a month of winter," said researcher Reidun Gangsto Skaland.

In the heart of the Arctic, the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard is experiencing its 109th straight month of temperatures above normal, according to the Norwegian meteorological institute.

It is the same situation in neighbouring Russia.

On Tuesday, it was 0C degrees in Murmansk, the world's biggest city above the Arctic Circle, which is about 6C higher than the seasonal norm, the national weather centre said.

The forecast for Wednesday is for even warmer temperatures reaching 2C degrees in Murmansk and 4C degrees in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second city, which would be 12C degrees higher than normal.

But the northeast of Russia is not alone. "All of the country has been registering positive anomalies" in temperature, the director of the national meteorlogical service, Roman Vilfand, told the Ria Novosti news agency.

He pointed to some parts of Siberia, one of the coldest places in the world where temperatures have reached 20C degrees higher than normal.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Walrus shortage led to medieval Norse collapse: study

Yahoo – AFP, January 6, 2020

Norse communities thrived for more than 400 years in the Arctic, hunting walruses
for their tusks, a valuable medieval commodity (AFP Photo/COREY ACCARDO)

Paris (AFP) - Greenland's medieval Norse society vanished from the Earth in the 15th Century after they hunted walrus populations to near extinction, researchers said Monday in a possible explanation for the mysterious disappearance.

Norse communities thrived for more than 400 years in the Arctic, hunting walruses for their tusks, a valuable medieval commodity.

But a mixture of overexploitation and economic pressure from a flood of elephant ivory into European markets in the 13th Century contributed to their downfall, according to a new study.

A team of researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Oslo and Trondheim examined pre-1400s walrus tusk artefacts from across Europe and found that almost all of them came from walruses hunted in seas only accessible to Greenland Norse communities.

They also found that later items were hunted from smaller animals -- likely females and infants -- signalling that stocks were rapidly dwindling.

"Norse Greenlanders needed to trade with Europe for iron and timber, and mainly had walrus products to export in exchange," said James Barrett, from the University of Cambridge's Department of Archaeology.

"Norse hunters were forced to venture deeper into the Arctic Circle for increasingly meagre ivory harvests."

As the walrus populations declined, so did the Norse communities.

Authors of the study, published in the Quarternary Science Reviews journal, said there were likely other factors that contributed to the eventual disappearance of Norse Greenlanders.

These include climate change as the northern hemisphere underwent a "Little Ice Age", and unsustainable farming techniques.

"If both the population and price of walrus started to tumble, it must have badly undermined the resilience of the settlements," said Bastiaan Star of the University of Oslo.

"Our study suggests the writing was on the wall."

Related Articles:

New Mini Ice Age

"The weather you have today, and all the alarming attributes of it, is a scenario of what was scheduled to happen on Earth anyway. I review again that the weather changes you are seeing prophesied by myself, 21 years ago, are not a surprise. The changes are not caused by the pollutants you put in the air. You call it global warming and that's a nice phrase, and perhaps that will get you to put less pollutants in the air – a very good thing. But what you are seeing in the weather shift today was not caused by Humans putting things into the air. It would have happened anyway in about 300 years."

"We've called this process the water cycle, since it's all about water, not about air. The water is the predominant attribute of Gaia and of the weather cycle you're seeing. More predominant is the temperature of it. The cycle is ice to water and water to ice, and has been repeated on this planet over and over and over. It is not new. It is not exceptional. It is not frightening. But it's a cycle that modern humanity has not seen before, and it's a long cycle that is beyond the life span of a Human Being. Therefore, it tends to be overlooked or not seen at all !"

"In the days of the Lemurians, the water level of the Pacific Ocean was almost 400 feet lower, and that's only 50,000 years ago. [Kryon invites science to check this out – the water level at that time.] That was a water cycle working, and the reason it was lower was due to so much of the water being stored as ice. Today you're going through another water cycle that will eventually lead to cooling. The last one was in the 1400s."

"Science sees that at about 1650. As mentioned, they are so slow there is no remembrance that a Human has of them except in past writings and in the rings of the trees. The time span of the changes is so great that environmental record keeping does not exist in the form that it does today. But you can still look at the rings of the trees and at the striations of the rocks and can generally figure out that a few hundred years ago, you had a mini-ice age. Now you're going to have another one."

"....  A mini ice age is coming"Kryon, isn't that doom for the planet?"  Many have seen the artist's rendering of major earth cities under ice and all of the other things that go very well with science fiction movies. That's simply a painting of someone's doom scenario, not reality based in the history of the cycle. If you want to know what a mini ice age is like, just flash back in history and study what took place in about 1650. That was a mini ice age. Due to the change in the Gulf Stream (the ocean), the river Thames froze in London. Dear ones, it was cold, but it did not doom the planet. That's a mini ice age.

That's what you're facing, and I'll say it again. If you live in a cold climate, heed this advice: It's going to get colder. Get off the grid! Within the next 15 years, find a way of producing electricity independently or in smaller groups. This can be done neighborhood-wide or separately in homes. You're going to need this, dear ones, because the grid as it exists right now all over the world is not prepared for this coming cold, and the grid will fail. That's not doom and gloom, that's just practical, commonly known information. Your electricity infrastructure is delicate, too delicate. Prepare for a cold spell that may last for a couple of decades. That's all it is. Technology is racing forward to allow this. Don't let your politics get in the way of your survival. ..."

"...  This is controversial. The planet can't just "change the water". It does it instead with a "reboot of life in the ocean" using the water cycle. Watch for evidence of this as it occurs, and then remember this channel. This weather cycle is to refresh the life in the ocean so that everyone on the planet will have needed food from the ocean. Gaia does this by itself, has done it before, and it does it for a reason - so it will not stagnate.

Dear ones, indeed, you have put compromising things into the air and the water, but it has not caused this cycle. We have said for a very long time, stop killing the environment! The reason? It's going to kill you, not Gaia. Gaia is spectacularly resilient and will survive anything you do. However, it is you who may not survive if you continue polluting. All this is starting to change with your awareness, and you're starting to see this and move with it. But Humans are not causing the current weather shift. This will be known eventually.

What is happening has happened before, and it's almost like a reboot for the oceans and it carries a lot of dichotomous events. You're going to see reports of a dying ocean, but at the same time you're going to see unusual reports of too many fish and other sea life in places that were supposed to have a decline. You're going to see the life cycle of the ocean itself start to change and reboot.

The chief player in this renewal is a place you would not expect: Antarctica. I want you to watch for magic in Antarctica. It has always been the core of the refreshing of microbes and other kinds of life in your oceans and it's especially active during these mini ice ages. The process will cause currents under the sea to be filled with new life, delivering it to both hemispheres almost like an under-sea conveyor belt. ..."

Monday, January 6, 2020

Japan 'Tuna King' buys new year catch for $1.8 million

Yahoo – AFP, January 5, 2020

Kiyoshi Kimura paid 193 million yen ($1.8 million) to purchase a
276-kilogramme (608-pound) bluefin tuna (AFP Photo/Kazuhiro NOGI)

Tokyo (AFP) - A celebrated Japanese sushi businessman, nicknamed "Tuna King", paid $1.8 million for a giant tuna at New Year's auction at Tokyo's main fish market on Sunday.

Kiyoshi Kimura, who runs a successful sushi restaurant chain, paid 193 million yen ($1.8 million) to purchase a 276-kilogramme (608-pound) bluefin tuna, caught off the Aomori region in northern Japan.

"This is the best," Kimura told reporters after the pre-dawn auction.

"Yes, this is expensive, isn't it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too," he said.

Media-savvy Kimura regularly pays top price at the first auction of the year at the Japanese capital's main fish market, making himself and his business a fixture in national news during this season.

In last year's new year auction, Kimura paid a record $3.1 million to win a 278-kilogramme (612-pound) tuna.

The traditional auction is now being held in a new market in an area called Toyosu.

The world-famous Tsukiji market, which had long served as a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops, closed in 2018.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Palau bans 'reef-toxic' sunscreen

Yahoo – AFP, Bernadette Carreon, January 1, 2020

Reefs all over the world are being affected by the toxins in sunscreens (AFP Photo/

Koror (Palau) (AFP) - Palau's pioneering ban on "reef-toxic" sunscreens took effect Wednesday as the tiny Pacific island nation introduced strict environmental measures that also include one of the world's largest marine sanctuaries.

"We have to live and respect the environment because the environment is the nest of life, and without it nobody in Palau can survive," President Tommy Remengesau told AFP as the new laws took effect.

Palau, which lies in the western Pacific about halfway between Australia and Japan, is renowned for its marine life and is regarded as one of the world's best diving destinations, but the government is concerned its popularity is coming at a cost.

Remengesau said there was scientific evidence that the chemicals found in most sunscreens were toxic to corals, even in minute doses.

With Palau's popular dive sites regularly packed with tourists there were concerns a build-up of these chemicals would irreparably harm the reefs.

From New Year's day, any reef-toxic sunscreen imported or sold in Palau will be confiscated and the owner will be fined US$1,000.

"When science tells us that a practice is damaging to coral reefs, to fish populations, or to the ocean itself, our people take note and our visitors do too," Remengesau said.

Map locating Palau. The tiny Pacific island nation's pioneering ban on 
"reef-toxic" sunscreens took effect on New Year's Day (AFP Photo/Gal ROMA)

"Toxic sunscreen chemicals have been found throughout Palau's critical habitats, and in the tissues of our most famous creatures.

"We don't mind being the first nation to ban these chemicals, and we will do our part to spread the word. With better education and awareness, more jurisdictions will have the confidence to take this necessary action.

"The science is clear, and once that message has spread, we will be the first of many."

Along with the sunscreen ban, Palau’s much-touted marine sanctuary came into effect on January 1, closing 80 percent of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to fishing and other marine activities including mining and shark finning.

"It is a very ambitious and worthy goal for Palau's future," Remengesau said. The marine sanctuary prohibits commercial fishing in about 500,000 square kilometres (190,000 square miles) of ocean.

The legislation also requires most foreign fleets working in the limited fishing area to land their catch in Palau and then pay an export tax.

Environment Minister Umiich Sengebau said the law ensures Palau has first rights to purchase fish caught in the area to satisfy the local demand before exports are allowed.

Remengesau said the ban was needed to "let the ocean heal" after years of mass commercial fishing in the Pacific that has seen stocks of some species such as bluefin tuna fall to critical levels.

It follows Palau's establishment of the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009 to prevent finning -- a practice that sees fish have their fins hacked off before they are thrown back into the sea to die.