Project number: 2017-214
Project Status:
Budget expenditure: $14,640.00
Principal Investigator: Alistair Hobday
Organisation: CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere Hobart
Project start/end date: 19 Jun 2018 - 29 Nov 2018


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

Final report

ISBN: 978-1-4863-1276-4
Authors: 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
Final Report • 2019-08-02 • 1.16 MB


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.

Project products

Fact Sheet • 408.36 KB
2017-214 - Fact Sheet 1- Integrated Management.pdf


Integrated Management is an approach that links (integrates) planning, decision-making and management arrangements across sectors in a unified framework, to enable a more comprehensive view of sustainability and the consideration of cumulative effects and tradeoffs.
Nine key features and five phases of implementation provide a lens for implementation and evaluation of Integrated Management. 
Fact Sheet • 285.61 KB
2017-214 - Fact Sheet 2- Integrated Management.pdf


Integrated Management is an approach that links (integrates) planning, decision-making and management arrangements across sectors in a unified framework, to enable a more comprehensive view of sustainability and the consideration of cumulative effects and tradeoffs.
Evaluation of nine key features and five phases important to Integrated Management has been investigated in seven Australian case studies.
Article • 2.85 MB
2017-214 - Stephenson et al 2023.pdf


Integrated management (IM) has been widely proposed, but difficult to achieve in practice, and there remains the need for evaluation of examples that illustrate the practical issues that contribute to IM success or failure. This paper synthesises experiences of academics and practitioners involved in seven Australian case studies in which there have been attempts to integrate or take a broader, holistic perspective of management. The evaluative framework of Stephenson et al. (2019a) was used as a lens to explore, through workshops and a questionnaire survey, the nine key features and five anticipated stages of IM in the Gladstone Harbour Project, the Great Barrier Reef, the Northern Prawn fishery and regional development, the South-East Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership, the Australian Oceans Policy, the New South Wales Marine Estate reforms, and progress toward Integrated Management in the Spencer Gulf. Workshops involving experts with direct experience of the case studies revealed that most of the key features (recognition of the need; a shared vision for IM; appropriate legal and policy frameworks; effective process for appropriate stakeholder participation; comprehensive suite of objectives (ecological, social, cultural, economic and institutional); consideration of trade-offs and cumulative effects of multiple activities; flexibility to adapt to changing conditions; process for ongoing review, evaluation and refinement; and effective resourcing) were seen as important in all case studies. However, there are only a few examples where key features of IM were implemented ‘fully’. A subsequent questionnaire of participants using ‘best-worst’ scaling indicated that an appropriate legal and institutional framework is considered to have most influence on IM outcomes, and therefore is the most important of the key features. This is followed in salience by effective stakeholder participation, effective resourcing, capacity and tools, and recognition of the need for IM. Key features may change in relative importance at different stages in the trajectory of IM. 

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