The challenge of developing environmental outcomes acceptable to stakeholders with different values is well documented. Discourse analysis provides insights into how the views of different stakeholders affect decision making. We studied the discourses of key actors associated with the implementation of a Turtle and Dugong Hunting Management Plan developed by Hope Vale Aboriginal community in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Australia. The discourses of the environmental managers and community members were very different. Hope Vale people prioritized cultural well-being; the staff of management agencies prioritized biodiversity outcomes. These differences precluded effective outcomes despite considerable investment in hunting management over more than 20 years by both groups. Understanding the discursive terrain within environmental management domains can inform environmental decision making and the implementation of agreed management arrangements, enabling biodiversity objectives and Indigenous cultural aspirations to be met in a socially just, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable way.