Hosts: Niru Dorrian & Liz Ferguson, Marine Mammals SIG
Guest speakers & Topics:
Dr Christine Ward-Paige, Founder & CEO, eOceans
Overview of Protected Areas; Modern monitoring & capacity sharing (including eOceans)
Dr James Thorburn, Associate Professor of Marine Ecology, Edinburgh Napier University Centre of Conservation and Restoration Science
Evidence gathering for Elasmobranch MPAs
Patrick Lyne, Environmental Consultant, IWDG
Important Marine Mammal Areas (Examples, regulations, monitoring)
Dr Patricia Puig, Founder & CEO, Oceanogami
Advantages and challenges of marine protected areas, and the role of balancing stakeholder gain (relating to blue economy)

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are critical in conserving marine ecosystems and safeguarding marine life worldwide. However, assessing their effectiveness in protecting mobile species, such as many marine megafauna, presents significant challenges. This webinar will explore these challenges and opportunities as MPA initiatives strike a worldwide stage. Our exploration begins with comprehensively examining the diverse types of marine protected areas, their conservation objectives, and regulatory mechanisms. We provide insights into monitoring practices and introduce illustrative tools for real-time monitoring. Panelists will specifically discuss examples of protected areas for large, mobile megafauna such as elasmobranchs and marine mammals. Subsequently, we will discuss the advantages and hurdles associated with establishing marine protected areas, emphasising the importance of balancing the stakeholders' needs.