Integrated maritime policies have been developing for about three decades, firstly in large maritime and federal countries (Australia…) concerned by the coordination of publics stakeholders, then gradually in all maritime countries and at all levels (supra-national: regional seas; infra-national: regions, federal states…).

The traditional idea of maritime policy emphasises sectoral (by economic sector: fisheries, transport…) and thematic (environment, defence…) approaches.

It is no longer possible with this approach to manage conflicts between uses and environment (such as cumulative environmental impacts of multiple activities), nor growing conflicts between activities sharing the same space and resources.

An integrated approach can address these interactions, and beyond, as it allows the development of synergies between activities: sharing of resources, knowledge, infrastructures, investments… Based on common visions, coherent strategies and actions plans can be developed, implemented and monitored in a concerted manner. Finally, the policy can be evaluated in an integrated way.