The number of treaties concluded for the purpose of marine environmental protection has expanded over the past decades, but these instruments will only have their intended effect if they are fully and effectively implemented by parties. Many treaties have established bespoke mechanisms to allow ongoing scrutiny of compliance. By carrying out a survey of practice across four fields of international marine environmental law, this chapter shows that there is no single model for compliance mechanisms, even though there are some common design features. At the same time, a study of the practical operation of compliance mechanisms also reveals that they tend to evolve over time in response to ongoing compliance challenges. In this context, there has been some cross-fertilisation between regimes in order to improve compliance. The chapter therefore seeks to identify certain lessons from existing practice in order to highlight future opportunities to strengthen compliance mechanisms.
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