Resource allocation to research and monitoring

Management effectiveness


In 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 subject too. As such, further research, as well as monitoring, should be conducted or encouraged by MPA managers [1]. 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, as outlined in previously. In many cases, collaborating organisations or other government agencies fulfil some of the management operations (such as monitoring or enforcement) [2]. 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.

Sharks © Kimberly Jeffries
Sharks © Kimberly Jeffries

Overall budget

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.

Equipment and

Similarly, the overall budget, equipment and hardware is dependent on the specific research and monitoring arrangements for the MPA. For example, the use of hydrophones for monitoring cetaceans and other underwater noise would, in many MPAs, be undertaken by researchers from other organisations in collaboration with the MPA management unit. Where this the case, then the capacity of outside collaborators would need to be considered when allocating and accounting for resources.


[1] UNEP-MAP RAC/SPA, 2011. Guidelines for the Establishment and Management of Marine Protected Areas for Cetaceans. By Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara. Ed. ACCOBAMS-RAC/SPA, Tunis. 36pp.

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