The need for governance at geographical scales that match the major biogeophysical processes in the oceans demands regional approaches that usually encompass the waters of many countries. The geopolitical complexity of the Gulf and Caribbean region is such that regional governance appears to be more challenging here than in most other regions. Furthermore, the slate is far from clean as many organizations at regional and sub-regional levels are already engaged in most aspects of marine resource management, sometimes in collaboration, sometimes in competition and often in relative isolation. Likewise, at national and local levels there is a host of government and non-governmental organizations with diverse aspirations and perspectives. The challenge then is to develop a regional approach that: recognizes the existence of this diversity and works with it, that facilitates involvement at all levels, and that allows for different rates of uptake in different parts of the system. Development of the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem Project (LME) has forced regional partners to reflect on the Caribbean situation. It has led to the formulation of the LME Governance Framework. This framework, which departs somewhat from the conventional LME approach, appears to have the potential to meet the above challenge. It defines the relative roles of scientists, decision-makers and implementers at various levels and provides a basis for incremental implementation. There is still much need for operational development and buy-in. The question is, ‘who will be in charge of the whole thing? Does anyone have to be?