The Marine Social Sciences Research Group are also involved with several national and international research projects. Some of the projects have been set up by researchers within our group, while others are collaborative studies which are coordinated by other institutions. These projects cover important themes in the realm of marine governance, including; Blue Growth, environmental conservation, integrated management and the cultural heritage of coastal and maritime regions. Engaging with collaborative initiatives is central to the work of our group, as it offers an opportunity to exchange knowledge, learn about current research and develop networks with others. Check out the projects that we are engaged with below and click on the project title to find out more about them.



SustaInable and Holistic management of Irish Ports (SHIP). This is a 3-year project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. SHIP examines the complex and diverse nature of ports, acknowledging that there are growing challenges and barriers to sustainable management. The project will illustrate how these issues may be overcome through the implementation of Transition Management and will actively contribute to national efforts to transition towards sustainability within these marine sectors. SHIP will specifically assist Irish ports in the development of a policy-making framework to help minimise and prevent potential environmental damage caused by unsustainable port operation practices.



Ocean wave energy is a significant source of renewable energy that remains untapped and requires further research and development to make it technologically and economically viable. Although a vast number of different concepts have been proposed and investigated, many have been based on interacting with the waves using either buoyancy or diffraction forces. The LiftWEC concept provides an alternative approach. Based on the exploitation of lift forces generated by wave-induced water velocities, the project develops a new type of wave energy converter extracting ocean wave energy using a rotating hydrofoil. LiftWEC is a Horizon 2020 funded initiative.


Funded by The Research Council of Norway, the FAIRCoast project aims to facilitate more integrated governance of the coastal zone in Norway. The project is a response to the increasing numbers of activities conducted by established and new industries which is putting pressure on the marine environment and creating competition between different user interests. The FAIRCoast project analyses both the governance frameworks and how they will be implemented, along with what will help or prevent inclusion, coordination and the weighing up of various interests.



PERICLES was an EU-funded research and innovation project that ran from 2018-2021. PERICLES promoted sustainable, participatory governance of cultural heritage in European coastal and maritime regions through a unique interdisciplinary and geographically wide-ranging approach. The overall aim of the project was to develop and demonstrate a comprehensive framework to understand, preserve and utilize maritime cultural heritage for societal good. PERICLES studied eight case regions across six European seas, with the purpose of this approach to develop an in-depth understanding of multiple types of tangible and intangible maritime cultural heritage in each selected location.


MOSES was an EU multinational research project involving eight partners representing the five member states of the Atlantic Area. The objective of MOSES was to examine the Blue Growth path for sustainable development of the major sectors operating in the Atlantic space as envisaged by the Atlantic Plan. The project built on the EU Interreg IV Marnet project by examining the growth achieved in the marine sectors across the Atlantic Arc. The project also focused on examining the environmental pressures and impacts from the growing sectors and possible transition paths to sustainable blue growth.


Funded by the Marine Institute of Ireland, Coastal Landscape and Inclusive Planning (CLIP) was a PhD research project that investigates local community and tourist perceptions and attitudes to the coastal landscapes and seascapes. The overall aim of the project was to understand how landscape changes driven by Blue Growth can create conflicts between coastal communities, marine users and Blue Growth developers and how such conflicts can be addressed through sustainable and inclusive planning.

Review of MSP for Ireland

Making room for new marine uses and safeguarding more traditional uses, without degrading the marine environment, will require the adoption of new integrated management strategies. To address this issue, the Irish government developed Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth – An Integrated Marine Plan (IMP). This  presented a ‘roadmap’ for adopting an integrated approach to marine governance and for achieving the Government’s ambitious targets for the maritime sector. The aim of this project, concluded in 2015, was to contribute to the development of this framework by reporting on MSP best practice relevant to Ireland.


Integrated Management and Monitoring of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems (IMMERSE) was a research project aimed at informing an Integrated Environmental Management and Monitoring system (EMMS) for Irish estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency’s Research Programme, the methodology for the EMMS was made applicable on a national scale, and aligns with the requirements of the Water Framework, Marine Strategy Framework, Habitats, Birds and Floods Directives. IMMERSE defines and critically reviews ‘integration’ as an environmental planning concept, establishing the need for, and benefits of, integration within estuarine and coastal management.

Integrated Policy Framework MSP

There is a need to promote the use of Ireland’s maritime resources in such a way that ensures that the capacity of marine ecosystems to respond to human-induced changes is not compromised, while contributing to the social, economic and sustainable use of marine goods and services by present and future generations. Ireland's complex marine governance framework, resulting from layered legislative and administrative systems, is a challenge for the integrated and sustainable planning and management of the Irish marine environment. The overall aim of this project, funded by the Environmental Proctection Agency (EPA), was to inform the development of an integrated policy framework for MSP in Ireland.

Marine Social Economy Liberia

Carried out in , Marine Social Economy Liberia was a project that ...