WildAid Shares Marine Enforcement Expertise at Prestigious International Ocean Forums

April 3, 2023; By Carolyn Sotka, Marine Grants Officer

2023 started off with a bang for WildAid’s Global Marine Program and involvement in two major international conferences with themes related to marine protected areas (MPAs). MPAs are the national parks of the oceans. 60% lack basic management, infrastructure and effective enforcement making them unable to achieve their intended conservation goals to protect wildlife and critical habitat.

WildAid Marine has emerged as a global leader in implementing effective enforcement solutions for priority marine areas, MPAs and coastal fisheries. We are one of the first organizations to identify marine enforcement as a critical need and set improving enforcement as a priority and programmatic goal.

WildAid’s Marine Program is focused on supporting ocean leaders to build effective compliance and enforcement systems; to achieve their vision of abundant, healthy oceans where wildlife is safe from poaching and illegal fishing, and coastal communities thrive.

Our Ocean Conference

WildAid Marine was an invited delegate to the 8th Our Ocean Conference (OOC) held in Panama in March 2023. The conference concluded with 341 new commitments from 190 countries, worth more than 19.9 billion dollars to protect the ocean. Commitments included measures to address climate change, sustainable fisheries, MPAs and maritime security – emphasizing the collective responsibility of governments, companies, civil society, young people, science and technology in a combined effort for a healthier ocean.

Meaghan Brosnan – Senior Director of the Global Marine Program shared one of WildAid’s commitments at the OOC. Full video also showcases commitments from other authorities and country delegates. 

WildAid’s 2023 Commitments at the OOC

  1. WildAid Marine commits $4.4M USD to expand to 25 additional marine areas and reach 100-sites by 2024 to apply effective enforcement solutions to deter illegal fishing and strengthen protection of critical wildlife and habitats.
  2. WildAid Marine commits to continued support of the Palau Protected Areas Network (PAN) through on-going field, professional and legal training and a $100K USD 2-year match through a NOAA grant to strengthen enforcement and improve protection of coral reefs.
  3. WildAid Marine commits $1M USD as part of a jointly funded project to strengthen marine enforcement capacity and coordination for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (el Corredor Marino del Pacífico Este Tropical – CMAR).

Representatives from Fundación PACIFICO, Bezos Earth Fund / Re:wild, NOAA, Enduring Earth, and WildAid joined to discuss the importance of partnerships for monitoring, control, and surveillance in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor and support of Panama as a globally recognized “Blue Leader”.


The Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) was held in Vancouver, Canada in February to bring together ocean conservation professionals and high-level officials to inform, inspire and act on MPAs. One goal of the meeting was to collaborate across countries “to chart a course for achieving ocean conservation targets to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030.”

WildAid hosted a symposium at IMPAC5 to showcase four of our project partners, representing Tanzania, Mexico, Palau, and Ecuador and share success stories and challenges in their efforts to achieve sustainable fisheries and biodiversity conservation.

Ocean Science Radio Podcast: Leading up to our participation in IMPAC5, our team had the exciting opportunity to sit down with Ocean Science Radio (Online Ocean Symposium) to talk about our work to create locally driven marine protected areas around the world. The podcast shared first-hand experiences from Meaghan Brosnan of WildAid, Juma Mohamed of Mwambao Coastal Community Network Tanzania, and Joyce Beouch of Palau’s Protected Area Network. Tune in to the podcast here or on the following platforms Simplecast | iTunes | Spotify Audible .

Our team presented on four panels with prestigious partners such as the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, Blue Nature Alliance, Allen Institute for AI (AI2), OceanMind, Global Fishing Watch, the Galapagos National Park Directorate, and ProtectedSeas.  

WildAid also hosted a highly attended side event to share success stories, best practices, and challenges that marine resource managers face in an effort to improve enforcement of MPA regulations and laws. Also, we had a booth where attendees could learn more about our current programs in 16 countries across 78 sites.

Our WildAid Latin America team joined managers and scientists from the Galapagos National Park, the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation, the San Francisco de Quito University and the Charles Darwin Foundation to present latest research from the Galapagos Marine Reserve. The delegates also presented on progress in creating the Hermandad Marine Reserve and the proposed control and surveillance systems.

To learn more about WildAid’s Marine Program visit here.