According to an industry participant, the challenge with IOMP implementation was the absence of overarching governance in the region: he noted that while the plan aimed to create a comprehensive approach, it was "impeded by the silo effect it sought to overcome.
One Joint Secretariat participant identified the lack of funding for IOMP implementation, and for tools that would attach to the IOMP (e.
IOMP may engage participants with a specialty in traditional knowledge, and if it is the same people you are asking questions to over time, then the quality of input diminishes.
Finally, interviews revealed industry's skepticism about the ability of the IOMP to deliver any tangible benefits in the near future; participants had no expectation that this initiative can give direct support to oil and gas planning, impact assessment, and decision making.
Another industry participant said that there needed to be more buy-in from federal departments for the IOMP to influence oil and gas decision making effectively, and resource managers, namely Environment Canada, DFO, and AANDC, "need to collaborate in a more meaningful manner.
Three key issues emerged as essential to the efficacy of current IOMP, BREA, and IRIS initiatives in supporting a more coordinated, regional approach to marine resource planning and management related to pressing offshore development.
If planning, assessment, and science initiatives such as the IOMP, BREA, and IRIS are expected to provide direction and guidance for ocean activities, contribute to a better understanding of regional environmental effects, and meet agreed-upon management objectives, both independently and collectively, improved horizontal integration is required.
The multijurisdictional context in which the IOMP and BREA operate is characterized by a large multi-stakeholder process with two separate federal authorities trying to assert their respective planning and management mandates.
Much of the work undertaken by the IOMP, BREA, and IRIS addresses issues that are directly relevant to lower-level decision making, such as project impact assessment.
This flexibility and holistic approach have generated mixed responses, in particular for the IOMP, since critics question how such lofty goals as having a pristine environment and healthy fish stocks can be translated into usable decision support criteria for reviewing and evaluating the merits of individual project development applications.