The Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) is a Public Research Organization (OPI), attached to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, which is dedicated to R+D+i in marine science and technology.

The IEO is a sectoral IPO that focuses its efforts primarily on scientific knowledge of the oceans, the sustainability of fisheries resources and the marine environment.

The IPOs are public research institutions of national scope that, together with the universities, form the basic nucleus of the Spanish public R & D system, since they execute most of the activities programmed in the National Plan of Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation.

The functions that the Law of Science establishes for the OPIs are:

  • Manage and execute the National and Sectoral Programs that are assigned to them in the National Plan and, where appropriate, those derived from agreements signed with Autonomous Communities, as well as develop the training programs for researchers entrusted to them in said Plan.
  • Contribute to the definition of the objectives of the National Plan and collaborate in the tasks of evaluation and monitoring of them.
  • Advise on the subject of scientific research and technological innovation to the agencies dependent on the State Administration or the Autonomous Communities that request it.
  • Any other that is entrusted to them by the competent Administration.

Within the framework described above, the IEO distributes its various tasks mainly in three major areas: fishing, marine environment and aquaculture. In all of this, it carries out basic and applied research, scientific and technological advice to the different administrations in matters related to oceanography and marine sciences. According to the Maritime Fisheries Law of 2001, the IEO is the investigative and advisory body for the fisheries sector policy of the Government. The IEO is also the advisory body of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Rural and Marine in relation to the Law on Protection of the Marine Environment. In addition, he is the scientific and technological representative of Spain in most of the forums and international organizations related to the sea and its resources.

In the Royal Decree 718/2010, of May 28, which modifies the Royal Decree 1950/2000, of December 1, establishes that the Spanish Institute of Oceanography has as its mission research and technological development, including knowledge transfer, on the sea and its resources.

"To fulfill the purpose indicated in the previous section, this R.D. considers the IEO as a means of the AGE", corresponds to the IEO the exercise of the following functions:

  • Prepare, coordinate and manage research and technological development programs on marine living resources in the different seas and oceans, including research and technological development applied to marine crops, with special reference to those of interest to the fishing sector Spanish.
  • Prepare, coordinate and manage multidisciplinary oceanographic research programs, with special attention to their influence on living resources, in accordance with the guidelines of the State Secretariat for Research, and in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Sea of ??the Ministry of Environment, and Rural and Marine Environment.
  • Represent the State in international scientific forums related to oceanography and fisheries, in coordination with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Environment, and Rural and Marine Affairs. The IEO will be considered a reference body for the declaration of fishing protection zones, marine protected areas and other spaces.
  • Report on draft regulations submitted to consultation that affect marine living resources.
  • Inform the competent administrative bodies about the requests to carry out research campaigns by third countries in waters of Spanish sovereignty.
  • Collaborate with public and private organizations, both national and international, to carry out research projects and other scientific and technological activities, with priority attention to the objectives of oceanographic-fisheries research at the service of the State's fisheries policy.
  • Coordinate and cooperate in international research programs, through the State Secretariat for Research, without prejudice to the competences attributed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
  • Prioritize the objectives of oceanographic-fishing research at the service of the State's fisheries policy.