Integrated maritime policies have been developing for some thirty years, first in the large maritime and federal countries (Australia, etc.) concerned with coordinating the actions of public players, then progressively in all maritime countries, and at all levels (supra-national: regional seas; sub-national: regions, federated states, etc.)
The traditional conception of maritime policy favours sectoral approaches (by economic sector: fishing, transport, etc.) and thematic approaches (environment, defence, etc.).
It is no longer possible with this approach to manage conflicts between uses and the environment (particularly the cumulative impacts of multiple activities on the environment), nor the growing conflicts between activities sharing the same space and resources.
The integrated approach makes it possible to deal with these interactions, and beyond, since it makes it possible to develop synergies between activities: sharing of means, knowledge, infrastructures, investments, etc. On the basis of a shared vision, coherent strategies and action plans can be developed, implemented and monitored in a concerted manner. Finally, the policy can be evaluated in an integrated way.