Marine Environment

Marine Environment Main Image. Photographer Thomas Szumski

Marine Environment Overview

We provide scientific advice and undertake marine environmental monitoring services to ensure the marine environment is managed in a sustainable manner. These services are carried out by a team of scientific and technical personnel engaged in a range of monitoring and research programmes including phytoplankton monitoring, benthic monitoring and marine chemistry. We also provide advice on the licensing of activities in the marine environment.

Phytoplankton Monitoring. Credit to European Space Agency
Phytoplankton Monitoring
We monitor phytoplankton under a national programme which has been in place since the 1980s. Local SFPA Sea fishery officers or other assigned personnel take samples from designated sampling areas. These are sent to our labs (either Bantry or Galway) where analysis is carried out.
Benthic Monitoring. Photographer Jonathan White
Benthos Ecology
Our Benthos Ecology Group is responsible for the review and assessment of existing and proposed activities that may have an influence on the marine environment. We advise on likely consequences particularly as they relate to licensing of activities on or near the seafloor.
Marine Chemistry. Photographer Andrew Downes
Marine Chemistry
In Marine Chemistry, we conduct monitoring and research on Marine Pollutants, Contaminants in Seafood, Seawater Chemistry and Ocean Acidification.
Marine Climate Change. Photographer Andrew Downes
Marine Climate Change
We collect a variety of climate data sets that are quality assured and archived for future analysis by climate researchers. These data sets include physical oceanography in the shelf seas and open ocean, phytoplankton, marine chemistry and fisheries data.
Marine Environment Licensing Advice. Photographer David Branigan
Marine Environment Licensing Advice
We provide scientific and technical advice to Government and industry on licensed marine activities, such as aquaculture and foreshore operations.
Water Framework Directive. Photographer Thomas Szumski
Water Framework Directive
An integrated approach for managing water quality aims to protect and enhance both ecological and chemical quality of rivers, lakes, groundwater, estuaries and coastal waters.
Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Photographer Thomas Szumski
Marine Strategy Framework Directive
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) is European legislation, which aims to protect the marine environment. It requires the application of an ecosystem-based approach to the management of human activities, enabling a sustainable use of marine goods and services.
Maritime Spatial Planning. Photographer Thomas Szumski
Maritime Spatial Planning
Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) is defined in the EU Directive on MSP as ‘a process by which the relevant Member State’s authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives’, according to the European Commission’s Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning.