Research and monitoring (RM) plans need to be developed for marine protected areas in an interdisciplinary way which includes scientific knowledge, ongoing and future collaborative projects and management expertise. In 2012, the Working Group on Ecosystem Monitoring and Management considered a number of issues relating to the development of RM plans, including that guidance is needed from the Scientific Committee and Commission in the detailed structure of the plans. SC-CAMLR endorsed advice from WG-EMM that RM Plans needed to relate to the requirements for an MPA and that the research and monitoring should be achievable in practice. The proposal for the East Antarctica Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (EARSMPA) contains the priority elements of the RM Plan to support the management of that system. Here, we show how the scientific initiatives currently underway in the region could be used as a foundation for a RM Plan for the EARSMPA. All Members are invited to participate in the research and monitoring activities, particularly through these initiatives. This paper is structured to first provide the text from the draft conservation measure for the EARSMPA on the priority elements of the RM Plan. Second, summaries are provided of initiatives currently underway that could provide research and monitoring in the region. Last, we assess which parts of the RM Plan would benefit from the outcomes of the initiatives.
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