Marine spatial planning in the high seas
Although high seas resources are being exploited, reciprocal legal obligations to protect its environment have not been met. Marine spatial planning (MSP) is clearly a practical way forward, particularly for the high seas, where non-spatial monitoring is difficult, and where data gaps obstruct conventional management approaches. To ensure the effective application of MSP in the high seas, however, some institutional reforms are necessary. This paper outlines the main hurdles, summarizes existing high seas spatial protections, presents an example of a high seas marine protected area that resulted through MSP, identifies three institutional priorities, and suggests three immediate steps.
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