On December 14, 2009, President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force released its Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning for a 60-day public review and comment period. With competing interests in the ocean, US coasts and the Great Lakes, the Interim Framework offers a comprehensive, integrated approach to planning and managing uses and activities. Under the Framework, coastal and marine spatial planning would be regional in scope, developed cooperatively among Federal, State, tribal, local authorities, and regional governance structures, with substantial stakeholder and public input.
The Marine Aquarium Council publically commented that it supports the interim framework developed by the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, particularly the components that emphasize localized management plans, stakeholder involvement, and public participation. Voluntary standard and certification systems like the Marine Aquarium Council and the Marine Stewardship Council have worked to develop comprehensive, multi-stakeholder coastal management plans for well over a decade.
It is our hope that the new US Ocean Policy builds on and supports this critical work to ensure that products harvested from the sea and sold to consumers in the US and abroad are gathered in such a way so as to ensure long term viability and biological diversity of not only the species themselves, but of their underlying marine ecosystems as well.
Download the Marine Aquarium Council’s updated White Paper to the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and support MAC and the international voluntary standards system movement.