In the 1960's, Jacques Yves Cousteau and his famous ship the Calypso visited Palau. In his journal, Cousteau reported that Palau's colorful Underwater Walls and Drop Offs were, in his opinion, the best in the world. This put Palau on the map of the budding diving community.
On September 25, 2009, Palau announced that it would create the world's first "shark sanctuary".
Palau has banned all commercial shark fishing within its waters. The sanctuary protects about 600,000 square kilometres (230,000 sq mi) of ocean,
a similar size to the European country of France.
On March 31, 2011, Palau signed an agreement with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
to patrol its territorial waters against illegal fishing activity.
Sea Shepherd has a long history of working in direct collaboration with national governments to oppose poaching operations; its first such agreement was in the Galapagos Islands, where Sea Shepherd is now in its 11th year of working in partnership with the Galapagos National Park.