The Institute

IFREMER is a French institute that undertakes research and expert assessments to advance knowledge on the oceans and their resources, monitor the marine environment and foster the sustainable development of maritime activities. To carry out its missions, IFREMER designs and implements tools for observation, experimentation and monitoring and manages oceanographic databases.

IFREMER operates many of the French oceanographic vessels, as well as underwater systems and ocean instruments (seismometers, penetrometer, etc.). Since March 2011, the programming and modernisation of the French oceanographic fleet (FOF) has been entrusted to a joint service unit (UMS) and IFREMER was mandated to administrate the FOF for a four-year period.

Created in 1984, IFREMER is a state-owned public industrial and commercial institute (EPIC), placed under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and the Sea.

IFREMER works together with the French scientific community as well as with institutional partners from many different countries. Cooperation is centred on major international and overseas programmes in partnership with several targeted countries (USA, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, Russia), and on policies that involve the Mediterranean region, connecting Europe to South Mediterranean countries.

In service to Research, Scientific Assessments and Core Infrastructures

IFREMER carries out targeted research to address current societal questions (effects of climate change, marine biodiversity, pollution prevention, seafood quality, etc.). This research produces results that cover scientific knowledge, technology innovation and ocean observation and exploration systems. The Institute collaborates with public or private partners or both.

IFREMER monitors the seas and the coasts to provide scientific support of public policy for management of the environment and its resources.Based on advisory notes or assessment reports, surveys and marine monitoring networks, IFREMER – in collaboration with professionals of the marine and maritime sectors – brings its expertise in marine sciences to the major scientific questions of today.

The development, management and distribution of the large research infrastructures – fleet, computational resources, data centres, testing facilities, laboratories – are made available to the national and European scientific community as well as through public-private research partnerships.

Key figures

  • Annual budget of €210 million (not including internal operations)
  • Staff of 1464 people including 595 engineers/researchers and 45% of women
  • 510 scientific articles published in 2017 and indexed in the Web of Science
  • 5 Centres covering one or several administrative regions (Atlantic, Brittany, Channel-North Sea, Mediterranean, Pacific) et 20 coastal stations
  • 6 ships (of which 3 are sea-going vessels), 1 manned submersible, 2 remotely operated vehicles and 2 AUVs
The IFREMER Mediterranean Centre in 1981


The history of IFREMER is the merger of two worlds: That of marine fisheries and that of oceanography...


IFREMER contributes to national research and innovation, as well as to the European research landscape.

Europe and International

IFREMER has a large spectrum of activities and expertise in the maritime sector, which ensures its visibility and reputation on European and international levels.

Library and publications

The La Perouse Library, a joint facility shared by the UBO, IFREMER and IRD & Archimer – IFREMER’s institutional archives


A Scientific Board, four Scientific Departments, 5 Centres, Operations and Scientific Support Divisions


IFREMER is involved in many scientific partnerships at the regional, national and international levels.

Reference documents

Annual report, Objectives contract, Strategic plan

ISO 9001 Certification

IFREMER’s quality management is ISO 9001 certified