In some cases, the available data and information on the targeted marine mammals in which the MPA is aiming to conserve and manage can be limited. This includes the ecology and the threats that they are subjected to. As such, further research, as well as monitoring, should be conducted or encouraged by MPA managers . However, marine mammal research and monitoring is often difficult and expensive, requiring considerable resources and expertise.
This factsheet focuses on the overall capacity to perform research and monitoring of marine mammals within the MPA. In many cases, collaborating organisations or other government agencies fulfil some of the management operations (such as monitoring or enforcement) . In these cases, consideration to the allocation of resources and when assessing capacity should also be given to these partner organisations including research groups in addition to the MPA management agency.
The adequacy of the budget allocated to research and monitoring must be considered in the context of how much research and monitoring is expected from (or left to) MPA management, depending on what agreements are in place with other agencies or research organisations in order to ‘outsource’ these tasks. It is important that these amounts, accompanied by specific activities and the organisation responsible, are defined in any agreements and/or contracts.