MRAG has conducted a number of biodiversity surveys and assessment of the abundance of PET species in both freshwater and marine ecosystems.  These have also been used to  develop specific plans of action.  This includes for example, the development of the Lake Tanganyika Strategic Action Programme (SAP) to conserve the lake’s biodiversity and its value as a resource for people in the region into the future. MRAG produced the consultation document for the draft Preliminary Strategic Action Plan and a series of special studies to develop understanding of both the nature of the resource and the threats to its biodiversity. The special studies included Biodiversity, Fishing Practices, Pollution, Sedimentation and Socioeconomics. The knowledge and understanding gained through these studies informed the planning process for the Governments of the countries bordering the lake to develop their plans.

MRAG has also been instrumental in the implementation of what was at the time of its declaration the world’s largest “no-take” Marine Protected Area (MPA) – the British Indian Ocean Territory MPA.  Prior to the MPA declaration several smaller areas had been identified as being of particular importance and had been declared as Strict Nature Reserves with additional protection.  The BIOT MPA is noted for its extremely healthy and diverse coral cover, which is dense even in deep water and on the steep outer slopes of reefs, high diversity of fish species, nesting sites for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle and endangered Green turtle along with the international recognised importance of the islands as nesting sites for birds.

Similar closed area management was conducted in Antarctic waters within the CCAMLR Regulatory Area with the identification of areas of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs).  These areas were evaluated for their biodiversity and abundance of key species and certain areas closed to commercial fishing.  Research fishing plans were developed to monitor these areas.

MRAG has also developed marine mammal and seabird observer programmes to assist companies exploiting offshore resources and ensure that interference with PET species was minimised.  


Title Region End Date
Image by simone saponetto from Pixabay Improving environmental sustainability of deep sea fisheries with emphasis on the conservation of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs)

In 2018 the European Commission commissioned a study aiming at providing a…

MRAG Project The management of Scotland’s seal populations

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

Study on mitigation measures to minimise seabird bycatch in gillnet fisheries

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

Improving scientific advice for the conservation and management of oceanic sharks and rays

One of the objectives of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to restore and…

An analysis of the uses, impacts and benefits of fish aggregation devices (FADs) in the global tuna industry

This project was commissioned by WWF-UK in early 2016 to contribute to the ongoing…

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Fisheries Management.

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

Atlantic Ocean
MRAG Project A review of the conservation benefits of marine protected areas for pelagic species associated with fisheries

There is now a vast body of evidence supporting the conservation benefits of marine…

Marine Mammal and Seabirds Observation for Survey of North Falkland Basin

MRAG provided observers for marine mammal observations and seabird surveys carried out…

Atlantic Ocean
MRAG Project Contribution to the Preparation of a Plan of Action for Seabirds

In 2008 the FAO presented the “Best Practice Technical Guidelines for IPOA/NPOA-…

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

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

Field Study to assess some mitigation measures to reduce by-catch of marine turtles in surface long line fisheries (FISH/2005/28)


There have been wide-scale concerns regarding the numbers of turtles being…

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…