Monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) is critical for the success of marine conservation and management, but effective MCS remains challenging. This is especially true for the deep and distant waters of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), which are characterised by a fragmented governance framework and reliance on flag States to ensure control over vessels. A range of existing international instruments, institutions and guidelines are relevant to MCS in ABNJ, while traditional approaches to MCS – on board observers, logbooks and surveillance planes – are increasingly being supplemented by a range of innovative new technological tools. States at the United Nations (UN) are currently negotiating an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use of the biological diversity of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) and there is a growing interest in how MCS tools and policies can contribute to the management of this vast global commons. The negotiations therefore provide an important opportunity to learn from the wealth of experience gained to date and strengthen existing provisions, thereby facilitating harmonised and efficient MCS that can ultimately ensure effective implementation of rules on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. Against this background, this report explores how the BBNJ negotiations can strengthen MCS in ABNJ and highlights how MCS can contribute to the implementation of the new instrument. The report provides an overview of existing legal frameworks, technological tools and MCS initiatives, and highlights some of the challenges to effective MCS. The report provides some suggested pathways for strengthening MCS in ABNJ, as well as three concrete proposals for provisions that could be included in the future international instrument:
- Reinforcing MCS flag State obligations in the text and ensuring the principles and related obligations of cooperation and coordination, transparency and reporting are applied throughout the agreement;
- Specifying that a clearing-house mechanism will serve as a platform to share good MCS practices, exchange data on MCS activities and match capacity-building needs in relation to MCS tools and methods for assessment; and
- Requiring States parties to submit a MCS strategy together with proposals for area based management tools (ABMTs) and marine protected areas (MPAs) that considers the possible technological tools and institutional arrangements available to ensure compliance.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Other publication or document type
Cremers, K., Wright, G., & Rochette, J. (2020). Strengthening Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.
- https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/rest/items/item_6000070_9/component/file_6… https://www.prog-ocean.org/ https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6001999 https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_6002001
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- Strengthening Regional Ocean Governance for the High Seas (STRONG High Seas)