Ocean resource management


The ‘Oceans, climate and resources’ department brings together IRD’s oceanographers specialising in different disciplines: physicians, chemists, bio-geochemists, biologists, ecologists and fisheries scientists. It takes an integrated approach to handle research questions for the development of the ocean with focus on the processes that affect the inter-tropical zone.

Their studies fall into two main scientific areas:

The challenge of this research is to understand how physical and ecological changes in the ocean particularly effect populations in the intertropical zone.

Key figures

Flagship scientific projects

The plastic ‘continents’: is there a way out?

The ‘continents’ of plastic are not in fact static. On the basis of modelling work on ocean circulation in the Pacific, IRD and CNRS researchers have demonstrated that there are ‘exit route’ from these large zones where waste accumulates.

Climate: large-bodied fish not punching their weight

When it comes to withstanding environmental hazards, size does not matter. On the contrary: large fish are the most vulnerable to the rise in temperatures and human activity, as demonstrated by an international study conducted in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

The scientific community working to protect the coral reefs 

Several studies have been conducted by IRD researchers and their partners to forge better understanding of how the coral reefs work so we can protect them.

  • Set-up of the SEDES international combined laboratory

    The SEDES (Services from delta coastal waters and their sustainability) ICL conducts research into biological, social and environmental sciences in the Mekong delta and coastal waters of southern Vietnam.

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  • A new Young Team associated with IRD

    BIOTEC H2 endeavours to put forward a bioprocedure to produce hydrogen from organic waste.

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  • An event on fair and sustainable management of fish resources

    Alongside the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20 September 2016, IRD, partnered by the French Embassy, organised a side-event on Equity and fisheries in a global context.

And in the future ?

The oceans are a key component in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They are central to two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13 on action to combat climate change and its impacts and SDG 14 on the oceans, seas and marine resources. As a priority, IRD will back integrated projects combining environmental concerns with society and economic issues with the aim of conserving and exploiting marine resources in high-sea and coastal areas and in small, developing island nations. It will promote studies on interactions and retroactions between climate, the ocean, its ecosystems and governance methods in Exclusive Economic Zones and beyond national jurisdictions. It will contribute to the construction of scenarios for the evolution of socio-ecosystems in a context of global change and will join in seminal, interdisciplinary programmes on the vulnerability of coastal zones and climate hazards and services.