Opinion: Some Cautions about Integrated Oceans and Coastal Management?

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The concept of integrated oceans and coastal management (IOCM) has evolved and strengthened over the last 30–40 years. Within the last decade this has resulted in significant developments at the international and domestic levels. In 1996 Canada adopted its Oceans Act; in 1998 Australia implemented its Oceans Policy; and in 2004 the United States Commission on Ocean Policy drew up An Ocean Blueprint for an Oceans Policy. On the immediate horizon we have the EU Maritime Policy and in the UK there is the embryonic Marine Bill. In each case, the measures taken represent an attempt to address ocean and coastal management in a systemic and holistic manner, and in some instances they are an attempt to provide a positive legal basis for such action.

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