The framework for management of the ocean and coasts of the Pacific Islands region has been evolving since the early 1970s when Pacific Island countries played a significant role in the negotiations leading to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Commencing with a summary of the provisions of relevant international instruments, this paper presents a broad overview of regional arrangements for ocean and coastal management in the Pacific Islands region. It considers the work of the various regional intergovernmental organizations with active programmes in ocean research and governance and the consultative arrangements that support coordination and collaboration. Consultative arrangements involving other stakeholders, such as local, regional and international nongovernmental organizations are summarised. To improve environmental governance and address increasing environmental threats, particularly in relation to coastal area management, consultative arrangements need strengthening. This applies equally to national and regional level consultation. The institutional and policy framework for the management and conservation of oceanic fish stocks that Pacific Island countries have been refining over a period of 25 years is suggested as providing useful lessons for strengthening coastal management processes and strategies in the region.