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Introduction: Oceans governance: Where have we been and where are we going?

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Vince, J (2014) Introduction: Oceans governance: Where have we been and where are we going? Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs, 6 (1). pp. 3-4. ISSN 1836-6503

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Abstract

Over the past 30 years it has been globally acknowledged that the world’s oceans are in crisis, and
it has been suggested that the solution to this crisis lies in oceans governance. Oceans governance
includes, but is not limited to, the institutions, laws, policies, state and non-state actors involved in
the governance of all living and non-living elements that are connected to oceans and coasts.
Under this ‘umbrella’ of oceans governance, a number of conceptual frameworks have evolved
such as: ecosystem-based management; integrated policy approaches; zoning; and marine
spatial planning. These interrelated approaches have been tried and tested in the Australasian
region with varying degrees of success.

There are often conflicting interests in oceans governance. On the broader scale there are
differences in marine management – for instance whether to approach it from a scientific, security,
economic, policy or political perspective, or a combination of all of these. On a sectoral level,
different sectoral groups have challenges within ocean governance or with each other – it is
not unusual for environmental non-governmental organisations to come into conflict with fisheries
or offshore oil companies. On a jurisdictional level, national, state and local governments
also have different responsibilities and concerns over the management of their ocean areas. As
the following papers in this special edition demonstrate, jurisdictional overlaps or inconsistencies
have been a significant part of the oceans governance ‘problem’, particularly in Australia. Marrying
these conflicting interests through integrated approaches from an ecosystem-based perspective
may have been echoed over the last three generations as being the most effective form of
oceans governance, but in reality this process has been difficult to achieve.
This special edition on oceans governance examines the past, present and future challenges of
oceans governance in Australia and New Zealand. Despite attempting to implement national
oceans policies based on ecosystem-based approaches, multiple-use objectives and integration,
sectoral approaches continue to be the dominant way ocean and marine issues are managed in
both countries.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Journal of Maritime and Ocean Affairs
Publisher: Routledge
Page Range: pp. 3-4
ISSN: 1836-6503
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1080/18366503.2014.888131
Copyright Holders: Australian Association for Maritime Affairs
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2014 Australian Association for Maritime Affairs

Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 01:15
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2015 01:15
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