Review of potential legal frameworks for effective implementation and enforcement of MPAs in the high seas

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 9:29pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2014
Date published: 08/2014
Authors: O. Delfour-Samama, C. Leboeuf
Journal title: ICES Journal of Marine Science
Volume: 71
Issue: 5
Pages: 1031 - 1039
ISSN: 1054-3139

Marine protected areas (MPAs) were initially introduced to protect coastal zones and are increasingly being proposed as part of a solution to an integrated approach in managing the oceans. There is also pressure for the use of marine reserves to play a part in the conservation strategy and management of mobile demersal and pelagic species in the high seas. However, as there is no coastal State, all States are free to use the open seas, and the relative success of MPAs depends on whether or not measures can be imposed on both domestic and foreign vessels. Therefore, the question is whether current international and national legislation is sufficiently effective to implement a solution to aid the success of MPAs or if new legal norms need to be introduced to aid the governance of the high seas. The implementation of a surveillance programme of maritime spaces would help to establish the efficacy of any review of the current legislation. New technical developments being utilized in surveillance have opened up the possibility of exploiting technology with a view to surveying and monitoring planet earth in an objective manner. But technical applications employed to manage risks can themselves be dangerous, as they create new risks for the maritime sector (e.g. espionnage). The maritime domain is a difficult and unpredictable environment in which to operate and, therefore, precludes the assured presence of human beings to perform monitoring tasks. Technology offers us the opportunity to overcome the physical difficulties by putting into practice surveillance using more effective methods. Identifying the appropriate technology and providing funding is a priority.

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