Marine Governance

A Track Record of Excellence

MaREI’s Marine Governance team has been actively researching sustainable coastal and marine development for over a decade. Whilst research initially focused on coastal management, it has gradually expanded to cover the broader coastal and marine governance research agenda in line with policy changes at national and European levels. Members of the Group are currently engaged in innovative research in a range of fields including:

  • application of the ecosystem approach to fisheries and marine management;
  • use of scenario science and visualisation technology and techniques to plan for changes in the coastal zone;
  • mechanisms for improved participatory governance nationally, and in a transboundary context;
  • integrated marine management;
  • Maritime Spatial Planning;
  • adaptation to Climate Change;
  • mechanisms to facilitate increased cross-sectoral solutions and economic activity, and trans-sectoral pollination of technologies and knowledge.

This track record has enabled the MaREI Governance team to bid for and incorporate the Headquarters of the Future Earth Coast Initiative into our pool of experience and capacities. This global network of coastal scientists and stakeholders are focused on strengthening the science-policy interface and contribute to securing sustainable coastal futures in the new epoch called the  Anthropocene.

The scale and diversity of our coastal and marine activities present huge challenges for governance and policy frameworks. Governance refers to the framework within which Civil Society, Markets, and Governments operate and act. As we progress towards achieving sustainable societies, these complexities must be examined and integrated approaches derived which balance stakeholder needs with environmental realities.

Researchers in the MaREI Marine Governance team explore the interactions and dynamics between societies and the environment. Through promoting integrated approaches to coastal and marine management and planning, we aim to facilitate the sustainable development of key maritime sectors including, aquaculture, fisheries, tourism and renewable energy. This extends to identifying and addressing legal, policy, economic, environmental and social barriers to maritime space development, and use of resources. Our research seeks to develop and promote best practices and, where applicable, ensure the transfer of these practices across sectors and jurisdictions. The researchers also aim to address emerging management and planning challenges linked to unpredictability, uncertainty, and Climate Change.

Effective planning and management requires up-to-date, authoritative and robust scientific data and information. Accordingly the Marine Governance team works closely with the other thematic areas within MaREI such as Earth Observation, and Marine Ecology to fully harness multi-disciplinary perspectives and opportunities.

For further information on the Marine Governance team, please contact Anne Marie O’Hagan.

Core Research Areas Include

  • Coastal & Marine management, law, and policy;
  • Outreach and dissemination;
  • Stakeholder engagement;
  • Climate Change & Adaptation;
  • Science communication & Capacity building;
  • Sustainability science;
  • Maritime Spatial Planning;
  • Ecosystems-based management;
  • Decision Support Systems;
  • Coastal Web Atlas (CWA) development and deployment;
  • Blue Growth;
  • Marine litter;
  • Earth Observation & GIS Applications.


  • ECOSTRUCTURE: Climate Change Adaptation through Ecologically Sensitive Coastal Infrastructure
  • Future Earth Coast: Supporting sustainability and adaptation to global change in the coastal zone
  • AquaSpace: ecosystem approach to making space for aquaculture
  • EPHEMARE: – Eco-toxicological effects of micro-plastics in marine ecosystems
  • SIM-Celt: Supporting Implementation of Maritime Spatial. Planning in the European Atlantic
  • Celtic Seas Partnership: How to implement the ecosystem approach and Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the Celtic Seas
  • DANCERS: Building excellence in the Danube region
  • Climate-KIC: the EU’s climate innovation initiative
  • EPA Adaptation Indicators: Developing adaptation and preparedness indicators for Ireland
  • ICIP3: Ireland’s Climate Information Platform
  • UrbAdapt: Developing adaptation plans for the Greater Dublin Area.
  • SAFI: Supporting our Aquaculture and Fisheries Industry
  • AquaCross: Knowledge, Assessment, and Management for AQUAtic Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services aCROSS EU policies
  • ICAN: International Coastal Atlas Network


  • MARLISCO:Marine Litter in European Seas – Social Awareness & Co-responsibility
  • COEXIST:Interaction in Coastal Waters
  • TPEA:Transboundary Planning in the European Atlantic
  • KnowSeas:Knowledge-based Sustainable Management for European Seas
  • PISCES: Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem
  • CoralFISH:
  • IMCORE: Innovative Management for Europe’s Changing Coastal Resource
  • GEOSPECS: Geographic Specificities and Development Potentials in Europe)
  • iCOAST:Integrated Coastal Alert SysTem
  • RiCORE: Risk-based Consenting for Offshore Renewable Energy
  • Maribe: Marine Investment for the Blue Economy
  • Corepoint:
  • Copranet:
  • CoastAdapt:
  • CLAD: Coastal Climate Adaptation and Development Tool
  • The Online Marine and Coastal Heritage Directory


SIMCelt Project Closing Event

The MaREI coordinated project, SIMCelt will have its final project meeting on 28/29 November 2017 in Liverpool.

Stop, Collaborate and Listen for better Ocean Science - Part 1

In July, MaREI researcher Abigail Cronin set sail from Dublin port on the RV Celtic Explorer as part of a scientific crew of nine. While on the cruise, Abi wrote some MI blogs describing why she was on the cruise and what it consisted of.

International Marine Governance: Sarah Twomey

Sarah is an Ocean Governance PhD student focusing on stakeholder participation in governance processes in complex transboundary marine contexts.

UCC Alumni launches new book on Marine Geomorphology

UCC Alumni Darius Bartlett launches new book in the UCC ERI Beaufort Building: 'Geoinformatics for Marine and Coastal Management'

MaREI researcher on North South Atlantic Training Transect 2016

MaREI’s Abi Cronin gives us an account of her experience on the North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT) 2016...

Microplastics Photo Contest

IMPACT 2017 (International Microplastics Photo Contest) to kick off with cash prizes!

MaREI Researcher Author on New Publication on Marine Spatial Planning for Fisheries & Aquaculture

Anne Marie O’Hagan is one of the authors of a new publication on MSP for enhanced fisheries & aquaculture sustainability in the Near East


EPHERMARE aims to investigate the toxic effects of microplastics on marine organisms which are currently unclear and require further research.

Beaufort Building to Officially Open (July 3rd, 2015)

MaREI’s new headquarters at University College Cork’s (UCC) Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, will officially open on the 11th July 2015...


RiCORE aims to establish a risk-based approach to consenting based on environmental sensitivity, the technology's risk profile and the scale of the project.


AquaSpace aims to provide increased space for aquaculture production by identifying and attempting to overcome key constraints limiting the industry’s development using an ecosystem approach leading to a sustainable increase in EU aquaculture, while maintaining environmental quality.


COMMON SENSE is a project that supports the implementation of European Union marine policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the CFP.