2012 Ocean Seminar Series
Ocean and Coastal Law Enforcement
A Three-Part Exploration of the Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities
Vast, isolated, and sometimes dangerous, the ocean environment is one of the most difficult places to ensure compliance with natural resource laws and regulations. Often overlooked is the role that compliance and enforcement plays in achieving conservation and management objectives. A daunting task due to the breadth of applicable laws, ocean enforcement is made even more challenging by the size of the enforcement area - the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) spans approximately 3.4 million square nautical miles, an area larger than the 50 states combined. Therefore we rely not only on federal and state enforcement agents, but also on the good will of ocean users and the eyes and ears of watchdog groups and citizens to help ensure compliance with the laws and regulations designed to achieve long-term sustainability of ocean resources.
To facilitate conversation about how to achieve compliance and long-term sustainability, ELI hosted a three-part series exploring the challenges and achievements of ocean enforcement. The sessions delved into the frameworks regulating fisheries, trade and endangered marine species, and ocean water quality. Panelists explored current enforcement efforts, key obstacles faced, what makes a law or regulation "enforceable," and possible opportunities for strengthening enforcements regionally and nationally.
April 27, 2012
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act provides the framework for U.S. federal fisheries management, which the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and coastal states work together to enforce. In this session, panelists discussed today's fisheries enforcement structures, including their strengths and potential areas for improvement, and explored whether additional tools, approaches, or capacity is needed.
August 10, 2012
The major U.S. statutes established to protect threatened and endangered species and marine mammals - including the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) - require effective land-based and at-sea enforcement in order to achieve these statutes' objectives. During this seminar, enforcement experts spoke about key challenges and opportunities in achieving compliance with these and other statutes.
September 13, 2012
The ocean is the ultimate receptacle for myriad sources of land-based pollution, and ocean pollutants contribute to dead zones, ocean acidification, and other ecological impacts. In this seminar, we turned our eyes to the shore to explore the role of enforcement in ensuring that ocean water quality standards are met.
The 2012 Ocean Seminar Series is made possible by generous support from the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation.
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