Sustainable development (SD) has become a critical issue for humanity with its economic, social and environmental dimensions. There are currently substantial global efforts to understand and improve SD. Higher education institutions in many jurisdictions and academic contexts have signed declarations, charters and initiatives (such as the Talloires Declaration with 503 signatory institutions) to integrate SD. There appears to be no such effort among maritime higher education institutions (MHEI) as a collective. This research, therefore, has the following objectives: 1. Analyse the evolution of the concept of SD and its applicability to MHEI 2. Explore the status quo regarding MHEI integration of sustainability principles in their management, operations and curricula activities 3. Identify the barriers to such integration 4. Critically analyse the contemporary approaches for SD in MHEI 5. Suggest ways of improving the SD performance of MHEI.