ICOM under the Oceans Act was initiated at the coastal management scale in areas where there are multiple competing interests that would benefit from an integrated management approach. Currently there are five CMAs within Newfoundland and Labrador, two in Placentia Bay/Grand Banks, and three in the Gulf of St. Lawrence:
The ultimate goal of IM in the CMAs is to bring together all users of the coastal, marine or estuarine areas, and to encourage a wider dialogue, which will aid in the sustainable development, in sustainable communities, and healthy ecosystems in the areas. Each CMA has progressed through various stages of the integrated management planning process, each engaging the participation of a diverse range of coastal and ocean stakeholders that have decision-making roles or have an interest in and/or specific knowledge about the management area. CMAs are considered a key tool for conflict avoidance at the local scale.
The following benefits of CMAs have been identified: