Ecosystem-Based Integrated Ocean Management: A Framework for Sustainable Ocean Economy Development

Figure 1. Global cumulative impacts on the world’s ocean. Red indicates the highest level of cumulative human impacts. Source: Halpern et al. 2015.

1.2.2. Shortcomings in the status quo of ocean management Ocean management focuses primarily on the man- agement of human activities in, on and under sea- water, i.e. on who can do what, where, how and when at sea 2 . Broadly, these activities encompass 3 : 1) Commercial fishing, which includes legal fishing as well as IUU fishing 2) Shipping (transport of goods and passengers) 3) Activities relating to surveys and site explo- ration, construction, use, maintenance, and decommissioning of marine energy pro- duction installations (oil/gas, marine renew- ables) 4) Aquaculture, 5) Recreational activities, including extractive (recreational fishing) and non-extractive (recreational boating, scuba diving, etc.) activities 6) Seabed mining (marine aggregates, and, in the future, potential deep-sea mining for a range of rare earth metals) 7) Activities relating to surveys, installation and maintenance of submarine cables 8) Military activities 9) Activities relating to the construction, main- tenance and decommissioning of neces- sary infrastructure for supporting any of the above (ports and marinas, shipping chan- nels, etc.).

The management of these activities often lacks a strategic approach. Governance tends to be siloed, with different laws and governing bodies each managing activities in a specific sector, without always considering the impacts of management decisions on other sea users or adequately man- aging cumulative impacts on the ecosystem. Sim- ilarly, conservation legislation has often focused on individual species or particular habitat types without adequately safeguarding the wider eco- system. This piecemeal approach has contributed to environmental degradation, overexploitation of marine resources, and conflicts between marine users. This is true at multiple scales and in differ- ent geographical areas, with many highlighting the need for more integrated approaches (Arbo & Th ủ y 2016, Douvere 2007, Ehler & Douvere 2007, Ehler & Douvere 2008, Grip 2017, Schupp et al. 2019). The governance landscape in marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) illustrates the issue. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides an overarching legal frame- work for global ocean governance, though it does not provide a mechanism for the coordinated management of all human activities, nor does it fully address conservation and sustainable use of the ocean’s ecosystems (Ban et al. 2014). The institutional landscape governing human activities in marine ABNJ is both complex and fragmented, involving a plethora of multilateral agreements and

2 Ocean management also includes direct manipulation of the environment to improve its ecological condition, for example, ocean clean-ups or coastal habitat restoration. Ocean clean-ups tend to be costly and/or technically and logistically challenging, with their effectiveness disputed. Habitat restoration (for example, of coral reefs) tends to be restricted to shallow, easily accessible coastal areas, and is not feasible in deep sea environments. This may change in future, but for now, the main focus of ocean management is on managing maritime activities. 3 There is no single, globally applicable classification of marine activities because they can be grouped in different ways. For example, sea angling is a type of fishery, but it is also a recreational pursuit like scuba diving and recreational boating. Depending on the purpose of a given study, it may be preferable to group all marine recreational uses together (for example, when assessing the contribution of marine activities to a local tourism economy), or it may be more important to differenti- ate between extractive and non-extractive activities (for example, when assessing the impacts of marine activities on local ecosystems).


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