Comparative evaluation of Integrated Coastal Marine Management in Australia - Workshop

Project Number:



CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart

Principal Investigator:

Alistair Hobday

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



There is widespread evidence, in Australia and internationally, of increased need for an improved, practical approach to integrated management (IM) of fisheries and other coastal marine activities that is able to fully embrace the social, economic and institutional aspects (the so-called ‘human dimensions), of management. Assessment and management systems traditionally neglect the human dimensions. Further, they treat sectors separately, often with different authorities managing diverse activities in different ways, resulting in inconsistencies in management across activities. The result is that there is almost no consideration of the cumulative social, economic or ecological impacts of multiple activities, and no way of informing trade-offs among activities in management decision-making. Experience to date is that IM has been only partially successful. Management of multiple activities has been additive…squeezing one activity in among others (e.g aquaculture in light of others). While there are some examples of movement toward IM, these have resulted in partial or temporary success. There are examples where management has started toward IM, but progress has been stalled or has fallen back. In general, many preconditions exist, but it has been hypothesized that management is missing key aspects of intentional design that would allow IM to proceed. The proposed workshop will bring together those with both the science knowledge and the operational knowledge of 8-10 Australian IM case studies and a few with international expertise, to evaluate and compare experience towards identifying key elements of success and failure of Integrated Management.


1. Complete the creation of a lens for evaluation of Integrated Management that includes appropriate attention to social, cultural, economic, institutional as well as ecological aspects

2. Convene two workshops involving expert practitioners with sufficient scientific and operational knowledge of existing Australian Integrated Management case studies

3. Evaluate and compare experience on implementing IM in Australia using a single evaluative lens

4. Synthesize and report results of the evaluation and make recommendations for improved IM in Australia

Report of Workshops on Integrated Management of marine activities

Final Report
Author(s):Robert Stephenson, Alistair Hobday, Christopher Cvitanovic, Maree Fudge, Tim Ward, Ian Butler, Toni Cannard, Mel Cowlishaw, Ian Cresswell, Jon Day, Kirstin Dobbs, Leo X.C. Dutra, Stewart Frusher, Beth Fulton, Josh Gibson, Bronwyn Gillanders, Natalie Gollan, Marcus Haward, Trevor Hutton, Alan Jordan, Jan Macdonald, Catriona Macleod, Gretta Pecl, Eva Plaganyi, Ingrid van Putten, Tony Smith, Ian Poiner, Joanna Vince
Date Published:August 2019
The need for Integrated Management (IM) of diverse marine activities is increasing, but there has been no agreed IM framework. In 2017 and 2018, a team of researchers collaborated to develop a framework for implementation and a ‘lens’ for evaluation of IM. The research team then convened two workshops to test the framework with a broader group of subject matter experts, and to apply the lens to Australian IM case studies. The case studies included Gladstone Harbour (Queensland), management arrangements related to Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Marine Park (Commonwealth), development of Northern Prawn management (Gulf of Carpentaria), the South-East Queensland (SEQ) Healthy Waterways Management, the Australian Oceans Policy (AOP) (2001-2005), the New South Wales (NSW) Marine Estate initiative, and progress toward IM in the Spencer Gulf (South Australia). This report describes both the IM framework (nine key features and five phases) and the outcomes of the workshops, specifically the factors that enable or hinder the success of integrated management, and identification of critical features that will help improve future integrated management.