Swatch-of-no-ground marine protected area for sharks, dolphins, porpoises and whales: Legal and institutional challenges
Bangladesh is host to a major cetacean habitat. The country declared its first marine protected area, namely, the Swatch-of-No-Ground Marine Protected Area, for conservation of some species of dolphins, porpoises, whales and sharks. However, this declaration has not been supported with an effective and robust legal, policy and institutional framework. Against this backdrop, this article critically examines the existing legal and institutional framework for management of this marine protected area. A study on the existing legal framework shows the absence of a robust national legal system for prevention of marine pollution and protection of marine biodiversity. This lack of national legal framework will have a significant impact on the future success of the Marine Protected Area. Moreover, an analysis of the relevant national institutions shows that they are not fully capable of enforcing the law and policy in the marine protected area. Through this analysis, this paper proposes that preparation of a management plan, provision of adequate resources to the relevant agencies, ensuring interagency cooperation, engagement of stakeholders and implementation of international marine environmental law are crucial for the future success of this marine protected area.