Ifremer, through its research work and expert advice, contributes to knowledge of the oceans and their resources, to monitoring of marine and coastal environments and to the sustainable development of marine activities. To these ends, Ifremer conceives and operates tools for observation, experimentation and monitoring, and manage the oceanographic databases.
It also operates a great part of the ocean research fleet, including all underwater systems and large-scale mobile facilities and equipment (seismics, penetrometer, etc.). Since March 2011, scheduling and development of the entire French oceanographic fleet are supported by the UMS Fleet joint service unit, whose management has been entrusted to Ifremer for a four-year period.
Created in 1984, Ifremer is a public institute of an industrial and commercial nature (EPIC). It is supervised jointly by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Marine Affairs.
Ifremer works in a network with the French scientific community, but also in collaboration with partner organisations in numerous other countries. This cooperation is centred on large international programmes, on French overseas regions and targeted countries (United States, Canada, Japan, China, Australia, Russia), and on Mediterranean policy-forming partnerships between Europe and countries of the southern Mediterranean coast.