Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security


Fisheries and coastal assets are both common pool resources. The management of natural resources has a special focus in sustainability science because of the need to avoid the ‘tragedy of the commons’. Not only do common resources need special attention to ensure future sustainability, there is also a need to ensure management decisions are not made on short timelines, so as to prevent the ‘tragedy of the horizon’. This tragedy occurs when the time to replenish those resources is much longer than the timeframe over which impacts of resource decisions are managed, and often imposes costs on future generations. This thesis focuses on how the management of fisheries and coastal resources can be implemented through a triple bottom line lens to avoid both tragedies. Foremost, the thesis examines how appropriate social objectives can be developed, particularly through stakeholder engagement, and how management options can be assessed to identify options that maximise triple bottom line outcomes. These aspects are demonstrated through a series of case studies.

The purpose of the research presented in this thesis is to explore stakeholder participation in fisheries and coastal management decision-making with the triple bottom line approach. The triple bottom line as defined John Elkington (1997) encompasses seven paradigm shifts for sustainability: (i) using markets to improve environmental management and create triple-win situations; (ii) incorporating lifecycle technologies and approaches; (iii) engaging and co-designing with stakeholders so that they become process partners; (iv) transparency throughout assessment and management processes; (v) adopting long time horizons; (vi) uncovering and appreciating social ‘soft’ values and other externalities which will see the need for evolving ways and means to quantify qualitative outcomes; and (vii) establishing governance embedded with corporate social responsibility (CSR).

FoR codes (2020)

4104 Environmental management, 3005 Fisheries sciences, 350717 Stakeholder engagement



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.