Most aquarium hobbyists in the United States today have never seen hard coral from Palau. Palau’s national congress passed the Marine Protection Act of 1994 which restricted hard coral exports, and starting in 1997, the MPA stated that only citizens of Palau would be able to apply for collection permits and that only 20 permits would be granted each year.
The exception however is for cultured corals, and Biota Palau is now growing hard coral for the US aquarium market. Some Palau coral species are available already, and the fully sustainable marine livestock company will be adding more variety to its catalog in the future.
So far, for LPS, there are Favites, Euphyllia glabrescens, Oxypora, Fimbriaphyllia ancora, Leptastrea purpurea and Lobophyllia, as well as some popular Sarcophyton and Sinularia soft coral frags coming from the Palau facility. Biota has put their own Palua-related twist on naming them after places where they were found and popular foods in Palau.
The two Torch corals, Royal Palau and Soursop, although subtly colored by Indonesian standards, may appeal to collectors who have been limited to Indonesian and Australian torches, and fancy something from a bit further afield. Clams come from Palua too, so we hope to see some cultured Tridacnids, and some real coral fire, coming from the region in the future.