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Ocean supplement: Policing the sea

It's all about enforcement

By Dan Schaeffer  

Enforcement is critical to the successful protection of marine reserves. Without it, conservation measures, no matter how well-thought out, are of no use.

The term “enforcement” conjures up images of patrol craft stopping and boarding a vessel—of police leading to fines, confiscation or, incarceration.

But this is not a cost effective or long-term solution to the problem of illegal fishing in remote marine areas or on the high seas. Patrol vessels and aircraft are expensive and in the rare instance when an illegal fishing vessel is intercepted, the costs of the adjudication proceedings incurred by the prosecuting government can be…

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