Palau's President, Johnson Toribiong, has signed into law a bill imposing a five-year moratorium on the killing of critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles.
The Marianas Variety newspaper quotes Mr Toribiong as saying this was another step forward in the government's collective effort to strengthen conservation and environment policies.
The reduced presence of turtles as an attraction for divers was among the reasons cited when the bill was introduced in 2009.
The new law also states that no sea turtle of any species shall be taken or killed unless the shell is at least 34 inches lengthwise.
The taking of turtle eggs is also prohibited.
Any person violating the provisions could be jailed for up to a year or fined up to US$500 for each turtle taken or killed.