About us

A world leader in marine science and technology, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) collects, manages and interprets data on the aquatic environment, biodiversity and fisheries.

Our applied research and our partnerships with government, industry and scientific organisations help create and maintain healthy and sustainable marine and freshwater environments that benefit everyone.

Who we are

Cefas offers the broadest range of applied marine and freshwater science in the UK. We started in 1902 as a small fisheries laboratory in Lowestoft, the location of our present headquarters and specialist laboratories. We now employ around 530 people between our sites in Lowestoft and Weymouth and small port-based offices in Scarborough, Hayle and Plymouth.

Find out more about our services and capability

Our responsibilities

We advise Defra, as well as other public and private sector customers, on issues connected to the aquatic environment, including:

  • marine planning and environmental licensing
  • the impacts of climate change and the UK’s ability to adapt to it
  • sustainable fisheries management
  • marine biodiversity and habitats
  • fish and shellfish health and hygiene
  • responding to emergencies developing from or affecting the waters in and around the UK

Our priorities

As Defra’s marine science advisors our priorities for 2014 to 2015 are to:

  • advise on the impact of the offshore energy industry, while at the same time maintaining important environmental protections
  • carry out fisheries reform and policies designed to improve and safeguard the marine environment against threats such as disease, contamination and non-native invasive species

In addition, we will:

  • strongly support a “blue growth” agenda using our science to create economic opportunities for the marine sector of the UK and in carefully selected overseas markets
  • do more work with the Food and Environment Research Agency and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories, as well as work more closely with academic and Research Council bodies to strengthen our scientific impact
  • further diversify income and win work from new customers so we can invest in our scientific capabilities for UK government
  • improve the quality, impact and reputation of our science by following the recommendations of the Cefas Science Review

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