A substantial body of literature from the broader planning discipline identifies performance monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) as the engine of the adaptive management cycle. In ocean planning, ideally PM&E is integrated throughout the cycle, enabling a plan to identify and respond to changing conditions and, ultimately, to evolve iteratively toward its goals. However, planning authorities face a variety of challenges on the ground, which leads to PM&E seldom being thoroughly considered early in the planning process, instead typically relegated to less than rigorous treatment in later implementation phases.
This paper acknowledges the barriers to effective PM&E integration and explores strategies for advancing its practical application in ocean planning. The intent is to promote discussion among ocean planning practitioners and stakeholders about this critical component as new ocean plans come on line and existing plans are updated.