Ocean Equity Research

Monitoring, control and surveillance of protected areas and specially managed areas in the marine domain

Publication Details

D. Miller, N. Slicer and Q. Hanich. Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of Protected Areas and Specially Managed Areas in the Marine Domain. Marine Policy. 2013, 39, 64-71.


A checklist is provided for monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) actions to be applied in the areal-based management of marine fisheries and attached biodiversity conservation needs. The application of MCS to underpin compliance enforcement in marine protected and specially managed areas is seen as important in addressing such needs. Spatial, temporal, management and practical considerations are identified as important implementing considerations for effective MCS-based compliance enforcement. Most notably, human activity impact mitigation appears to possess the greatest potential to reduce potentially-harmful and cumulative long-term effects across all relevant spatial-temporal ranges considered. Equally, selection of suitable MCS approaches requires careful consideration of spatial and/or temporal constraints, as well as regulatory requirements. Express reference is therefore made to conservation measures adopted by the Commission of the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) as examples of where specific, areal-based, precautionary, ecosystem-directed and operational MCS measures have been applied. It is concluded that customary MCS measures are suitable for both fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in protected, or specially managed, areas. The importance of cost-benefit considerations, management feedback and information review is also discussed in the context of minimising protected-area MCS costs.

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