About the Area
These waters inhabit Finless porpoise (Neophocoena phoaenoides), Blainsville beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), and Ginko-toothed beaked whale (M. ginkodens).
Invertebrate species include all seven known species of Giant clam (Tridacnidae spp.); Marine turtles include Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Green turtle (Chelonia mydas), Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta).
Major problems include overfishing, destructive fishing practices such as the use of cyanide and dynamite, pelagic fishing for sharks, and outbreaks of Acanthaster planci (crown-of-thorns starfish).
Other threats come from sewage dumping, development activities, oil spills, hunting of local species (e.g., marine turtles), pesticide pollution, coastal dredging, and the use of reef material for construction.
Pacific Ocean off Southeast Asia
What are atolls and how did they come into existence in this ecoregion?
For thousands of years, volcanic islands in the Palau Marine ecoregion have been slowly sinking into the sea, forcing surrounding reefs to grow higher. After the land has finally disappeared beneath the surface, only reefs and lagoons remain. These remarkable structures, known as atolls, look like saucers of water with coral reef rims.