1. The most important accomplishment of the first International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas was the success of the event itself. The conference brought together, for the first time, over 200 managers, scientists and educators from 40 different countries around the world. It provided a conducive environment for both formal and informal networking, which helped participants to recognize the species, challenges and potential solutions that they share.
2. It enabled a number of groups and countries working in diverse parts of the world to publicize their important work in an international forum for the first time:
- The Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project (BCDP) announced results of Bay of Bengal Survey and Protected Area Network plan
- South American River Dolphin Protected Area Network (SARDPAN) was announced by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) as a new initiative to bring together river dolphin researchers and groups working on habitat protection in six South American countries.
- The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) announced the “Pacific Islands regional guidelines for whale and dolphin watching” produced in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Opération Cétacés
- The Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts announced their Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP) initiative.
3. Proposed sister sanctuary relationship of the humpback whale MPA network in the North Pacific between the Komandor Islands State Biosphere Reserve (Russia), Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Agreement to pursue this.
4. Proposed sister sanctuary relationship of the humpback whale MPA network in the Caribbean, extension from Stellwagen Bank NMS and NE DR HW Sanctuary.
5. Scientists and NGOs (WDCS) who participated in the conference took the resolution on identifying critical habitat areas for marine mammals, raised funds and have implemented a detailed analysis of the Northeast Pacific marine region.
6. The conference managed to engage a number of other countries (e.g. China, Dominican Republic, Korea…etc.) in the problems of how to protect highly mobile species in MPAs. It also provided examples of how some countries have been successful using MPAs with whales to promote strong public interest in the ocean.
7. Because the conference was in the Pacific, it drew attention to the highly protected Papahanaumokuakea and the other US Marine National Monuments recently declared in the Pacific. The national cetacean EEZ sanctuaries declared in the South Pacific were also ‘on show’. These strong marine conservation initiatives were a powerful example to many of the participants.
8. Representatives of the French Agency for Marine Protected Areas, who attended the Maui meeting and saw the example of what the conference was achieving, expressed their interest in hosting the 2nd conference to be held in Nov 2011.
9. Led to regional Pacific networking approaches through various other initiatives, for example, high seas MPA work through UNEP WCMC and the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) working within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
10. Stimulated the International Activities Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (U.S.-NOAA), to gather a broader list of migratory species (e.g. turtles, migratory fish..etc.) that link U.S. Sanctuaries to MPAs in other countries.
11. Produced an executive summary and recommendations, which was presented in several important venues (e.g. IMPAC 2, IWC, World Ocean Week in China, meeting of Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative at UNEP WCMC….etc. ) and produced proceedings, available in pdf format at ICMMPA.org.
12. Several participants were interviewed during the first conference for a variety of media outlets (http://www.icmmpa.org/?page_id=512), and for a short film on marine mammal protected areas, which will be featured as the next “event” on the World Ocean Observatory website www.thew2o.net