Paper Parks, Paper Tigers, and Paper Trails

The designation and enforcement of marine protected areas is challenged by the intensifying and proliferating uses of offshore waters. The fields of marine policy and applied ocean management are evolving in response. However, the designation of vast and remote areas as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) raises the question of whether unenforced protections are a step forward, or are instead detrimental to sound maritime governance and improved environmental outcomes. Vast designations raise the prospect of "paper parks" that risk failure because they are inadequately supported to accomplish their intended purpose. The resulting misalignment of effort and the challenge of focusing on the true threats at hand can render maritime authorities "paper tigers." In order to manage activities in MPAs "paper trails" are needed. The application and leveraging of technology to improve the reach of monitoring and surveillance, and the application of decision science and machine learning to safeguard specially designated areas of the ocean are being brought to bear. The need is clear: To meet today’s challenge of managing protected areas and extractive uses, expanded law enforcement presence on the ocean is necessary. As the United States continues to work with the community of nations toward improved ocean governance, it is incumbent on us to ensure that our own national marine sanctuaries, marine national monuments, and parks and refuges with marine components are adequately protected, and that protective regulations are supported by effective robust enforcement programs.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01676629
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 6 2018 3:17PM