The marine environment is a complex system, and with growing human demand, the sustainable use of multiple marine resources is continually challenged. The increasing complexity of overlapping marine activities causes pressures on the environment. Here, we review the fundamental aspects for effective marine management, particularly the role of science and scientific evidence to inform marine policy and decision making. The outcomes of internal expert workshops were used to analyse currently applied marine management practices in the UK using four marine sectors in English waters based on the expertise: environmental impact assessments; dredge and disposal operations; marine protected areas; and offshore renewable energy. Strengths, weaknesses, and commonalities between these sectors were assessed in terms of their effectiveness for marine management. Finally, we make recommendations based on the outputs to better inform effective yet sustainable marine management. The importance of increasing accessibility to data, hypothesis-driven environmental monitoring, streamlining funding opportunities and ensuring effective dissemination of data to ensure scientific outcomes and achieve increased robustness of assessments is emphasised. We also recommend that assessment drivers align with the outputs and approaches should be holistic and engage with the public to ensure a shared understanding and vision.