eCite Digital Repository

The future of ocean governance


Haas, B and Mackay, M and Novaglio, C and Fullbrook, L and Murunga, M and Sbrocchi, C and McDonald, J and McCormack, PC and Alexander, K and Fudge, M and Goldsworthy, LD and Boschetti, F and Dutton, I and Dutra, L and McGee, J and Rousseau, Y and Spain, E and Stephenson, R and Vince, J and Wilcox, C and Haward, M, The future of ocean governance, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 32 pp. 253-270. ISSN 0960-3166 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG part of Springer Nature 2021

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11160-020-09631-x


Ocean governance is complex and influenced by multiple drivers and actors with different worldviews and goals. While governance encompasses many elements, in this paper we focus on the processes that operate within and between states, civil society and local communities, and the market, including industry. Specifically, in this paper, we address the question of how to move towards more sustainable ocean governance aligning with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the UN Ocean Decade. We address three major risks to oceans that arise from governance-related issues: (1) the impacts of the overexploitation of marine resources; (2) inequitable distribution of access to and benefits from marine ecosystem services, and (3) inadequate or inappropriate adaptation to changing ocean conditions. The SDGs have been used as an underlying framework to develop these risks. We identify five drivers that may determine how ocean governance evolves, namely formal rules and institutions, evidence and knowledge-based decision-making, legitimacy of decision-making institutions, stakeholder engagement and participation, and empowering communities. These drivers were used to define two alternative futures by 2030: (a) ‘Business as Usual’—a continuation of current trajectories and (b) ‘More Sustainable Future’—optimistic, transformational, but technically achievable. We then identify what actions, as structured processes, can reduce the three major governance-related risks and lead to the More Sustainable Future. These actions relate to the process of co-creation and implementation of improved, comprehensive, and integrated management plans, enhancement of decision-making processes, and better anticipation and consideration of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:actors, agency, marine policy, sustainable development goals, resource management
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - wild caught not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Haas, B (Miss Bianca Haas)
UTAS Author:Mackay, M (Ms Mary Mackay)
UTAS Author:Novaglio, C (Dr Camilla Novaglio)
UTAS Author:Fullbrook, L (Mr Liam Fullbrook)
UTAS Author:Murunga, M (Mr Michael Murunga)
UTAS Author:Sbrocchi, C (Ms Carla Sbrocchi)
UTAS Author:McDonald, J (Professor Jan McDonald)
UTAS Author:McCormack, PC (Ms Phillipa McCormack)
UTAS Author:Alexander, K (Dr Karen Alexander)
UTAS Author:Fudge, M (Dr Maree Fudge)
UTAS Author:Goldsworthy, LD (Dr Lynda Goldsworthy)
UTAS Author:McGee, J (Associate Professor Jeffrey McGee)
UTAS Author:Rousseau, Y (Dr Yannick Rousseau)
UTAS Author:Spain, E (Miss Erica Spain)
UTAS Author:Vince, J (Associate Professor Joanna Vince)
UTAS Author:Wilcox, C (Dr Chris Wilcox)
UTAS Author:Haward, M (Professor Marcus Haward)
ID Code:142441
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-01-18
Last Modified:2022-10-05

Repository Staff Only: item control page