This case study serves to document past conservation practices still valuable to Palauans and recommends their incorporation in future marine resource management. Employing ethnographic methods, Customary Marine Tenure (CMT) systems of Ngarchelong and Kayangel State villages are described. The extent of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) currently used and development goals of these communities in the face of rapid economic development are also examined. Kayangel's and Ngarchelong’s CMT by village is still valued by elders, but is no longer adhered to by younger generations. TEK is not necessary in fishing due to recent technological changes in gear, therefore much has been forgotten. Improved enforcement of state and national laws is urgently needed. Individuals value healthy reefs and believe that high end, low volume eco-tourism, operated to directly benefit villagers, will eliminate the need to fish to generate income. Elders also recommend increasing the number of MPAs within the Northern Reefs.