2.3% of our oceans are officially protected
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are one of the most powerful tools for marine conservation, yet just over 1% of our oceans are currently officially protected, according to the IUCN. Of those, many lack any actual enforcement models, plans, and active programs.
MPAs cannot succeed without effective law enforcement and compliance efforts. It must be noted that the management of MPAs is a participatory process requiring the input of all stakeholders in the planning, implementing and monitoring of management plans - including the private sector, NGO's, academic institutions, and other stakeholders. In absence of a framework, open access and marine resource conflicts will only continue to promote increased polarization and unsustainable resource use.
Currently, many MPAs are poorly managed and their scarce resources are being employed ineffectively. When MPA authorities are able to carry out patrols and apprehend a poacher, the perpetrator is rarely fined due to outdated laws, corruption, or nonexistent judicial follow-up. In addition, when vessels, personnel, and equipment are available, few are operative due to lack of routine maintenance.
What is WildAid doing?:
WildAid has defined a comprehensive marine enforcement model that focuses on the law enforcement chain, which encompasses the activities of detection, interception, prosecution, and the sentencing of lawbreakers. The law enforcement chain requires that each link functions properly and no link is more important than another - the chain is only as strong as its weakest link.