The chapters that comprise Part 4 focus on significant aspects of governance within the Wider Caribbean. In Chapter 18, Fanning and Mahon explore the effectiveness of regional institutional arrangements for ecosystem- based management of fisheries resources in the Caribbean, recognising that success will depend on understanding the connectivity between interactions with other sectors in the marine environment at multiple scales. The chapter highlights the complexity of governing current and future activities within the Caribbean and identifies both the strengths that exist among and between institutions for governance, as well as the challenges that arise from having such an abundance of institutions within the region.
Turning from the institutions to the legal framework for regional ocean governance, Haughton explains in Chapter 19 that while Caribbean states and territories appear committed to the application of principled ocean governance, as evidenced by their signing of many of the global multilateral environmental agreements, the legal basis for the ecosystem approach to fisheries is not adequately reflected in domestic legislation. In fact, within the region, he concludes that the concept is found primarily in nonbinding instruments, and he therefore highlights the need for Caribbean states and territories to address these deficiencies to ensure the existence of a robust foundation for pursuing principled ocean governance at the national and regional levels.
In Chapter 20, Butler, Boudreau, LeBlanc and Baldwin emphasise an often overlooked component to effective governance, namely shared information. They stress the importance of having access to the best available information as a prerequisite for sustainable ocean governance success within the Wider Caribbean and highlight the opportunities available to share knowledge using current advances in information technologies. However, these authors caution that while the technical tool might be available, the provision of available information requires interest in sharing the knowledge. This requires trust and participation in information sharing while recognising that no one person or agency has, or can control, all of the information required to adequately manage coastal and marine ecosystems.
The final chapter, by Potter and Parsram, returns to the notion that effective governance in the region will require the involvement of non-state actors, particularly the current suite of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that populate the Caribbean region.