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Technology and the Seas: Enforcement in Marine Protected Areas

December 2019

Citation: ELR 11091

Author: Xiao Recio-Blanco, John Amos, Wynn Carney, and Monica Goldberg

Established in over 65 countries and territories, marine protected areas (MPAs) embody a range of habitats, enable the provision of fundamental ecosystem services, protect marine biodiversity and cultural resources, and provide spaces to conduct cutting-edge research and implement innovative policies. Yet management of MPAs can face challenges, including the lack of adequate tools, the need for rules to secure comprehensive monitoring, the vastness of the ocean, and more. There remain questions of how agencies work together to establish these areas both domestically and internationally, what are the innovative technologies that can aid in monitoring, and how MPAs can be enforced. On September 24, 2019, the Environmental Law Institute hosted an expert panel that delved into groundbreaking technologies, innovative legal frameworks, and examples of successful domestic and international MPAs. This Article present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Xiao Recio-Blanco (moderator) is Director of the Ocean Program at the Environmental Law Institute. John Amos is the President of SkyTruth. Wynn Carney is a Special Agent in the Office of Law Enforcement at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Monica Goldberg is Chief Counsel, Oceans, with the Environmental Defense Fund.

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