Changes in public attitude toward the natural environment and increased awareness of past losses and current threats have forced many industries and government agencies to evaluate the impacts of their activities on natural processes. Today, the environmental and social sustainability of coastal and marine resources, and the livelihoods of those who depend on them, are jeopardised by pollution, coastal development, overcapacity within fisheries, widespread habitat loss and infrastructure building for industries such as energy renewables. Likewise, impact assessments of fisheries are often poorly informed, receive inadequate attention and do not adequately assess both the direct and indirect that fisheries can have on ecosystems. The main threats to marine species populations are non-selective fishing gear, destructive methods of fishing and poor fisheries management regimes that lead to overcapacity and rates of fishing mortality that exceed sustainable levels of exploitation.

MRAG has developed considerable experience in the undertaking of environmental assessments on inshore, coastal, offshore and high sea area. Following analysis of assessment results MRAG has provided and managed the implementation of plans to remediate impacts, namely;

  • Establishment of ecological reserves
  • Remediation of pollution
  • Reducing the impacts of flood control systems
  • Designing guidelines to minimize the loss of biodiversity.

Fisheries-specific assessments have identified conflicts between fishing gear types, threats to non-target species, and further ecosystem impacts of fisheries leading to policy recommendations and novel management plans for improving the sustainability of fisheries through reducing their impact.

Clients and collaborators have included the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission.

MRAG has provided a wide range of services including;

  • Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) relevant to a wide range of infrastructure projects e.g. renewable energies and coastal developments comprising resource surveys, analysis and impact modelling.
  • Fisheries Assessments specific to impacts of gear types and threats to non-target species by-catch/discards.
  • EIAs specific to short and long-term contamination by pollutants, including providing technical assistance and advisory services. 


Title Region End Date
Defining the geographic scale of fish species populations, for impact assessments of low carbon energy projects and marine spatial planning

There is currently no common understanding of how best to quantify the spatial scale…

MRAG Project The management of Scotland’s seal populations

The purpose of this work was to provide a robust analysis and synthesis of the…

Development of Marine and Diadromous Fish Sensitivity Assessments for FeAST

This project prepared sensitivity assessments for 34 Scottish fish species of…

Study on circular design of the fishing gear for reduction of environmental impacts

MRAG was commissioned by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science…

Image by M. Maggs from Pixabay Co-designing the principles for defining low impact fishing

The United Kingdom (UK) seafood fishing industry, despite its importance to both the…

Rapid assessment of evidence collation on abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear

MRAG was commissioned by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science…

Study on mitigation measures to minimise seabird bycatch in gillnet fisheries

The main objective of the study was to identify technical solutions, both economically…

Acoustic and Exploratory Dropline Surveys

MRAG provided an acoustic expert to plan and implement as cruise leader five acoustic…

Indian Ocean
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Fisheries Management.

The work undertaken by MRAG for Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich…

Atlantic Ocean
Fish biodiversity survey of Mabole/Tabai and Rokel/Seli Rivers

This project assessed the potential environmental impacts on the fish communities of…

MRAG Project Environmental Assessment in Lake Volta, Ghana

This project is the fisheries assessment part of an Environmental Assessment being…

MRAG Project Scoping the potential benefits of undertaking an ecosystem assessment for England

This study reviewed the potential benefits of a Millennium Assessment (MA) type…

MRAG Project Scoping study for algae production in Morocco

A scoping study on Algae production at a fishery site (Amegriou) in Southern Morocco…

MRAG Project Support to assessment of progress of halting biodiversity loss with respect to the marine environment for the EEA 2005 State of the Environment and Outlook Report (EEA)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes a report every five years on the state…

GEF Pollution control and other measures to protect biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika.

Lake Tanganyika is an international water body that is an important resource for the…

MRAG Project Porco Tallings Dam Burst

The Bolivian Ministry of Sustainable Development and Environment requested technical…

Latin America
MRAG Project Pilcomayo River Fishery. Status of the Sabalo Fishery and the Potential Impact of Dam Construction

This project, undertaken in conjunction with the Overseas Development Administration (…

Latin America