LITTORAL research unit

The LITTORAL research unit is dedicated to the observation, study and assessment of coastal ecosystems using the monitoring networks deployed across the country that it operates or oversees.


The LITTORAL research unit is made up of nine Environment Resources Laboratories (LER) that cover the entire coastline of mainland France.


The main missions of these laboratories involve:

  • coastal observation (monitoring networks and diagnosis of the quality of the marine environment),
  • studies on coastal and shellfish ecosystems,
  • integrated regional studies and research (interactions between the coasts and river catchment basins) in light of national and European regulations,
  • surveys of the quality of aquaculture products in the natural environment,
  • scientific assessments,
  • delivery of scientific opinions for devolved government agencies,
  • knowledge development and transfer.

Monitoring networks

As part of the regulatory coastal monitoring programmes, the laboratories implement and optimise for the geographic areas under their responsibility, monitoring networks of the environment and shellfish resources: REMI, REPHY, ROCCH, DCE benthos, RESCO, Mytilobs. These networks also constitute observatories on the functioning of coastal ecosystems, and the validation and construction of models.

Monitoring is based on regular sampling and analysis carried out using proven protocols. The data obtained are assembled in the Quadrige² database at IFREMER. Data use and knowledge transfer are facilitated through scientific publications, reports and web sites. These data are also made available to the scientific community, government agencies, local governments, fishers and shellfishers and the general public.


The Environment and Resources Laboratories conduct research activities whose primary goal is to enhance their expertise for the benefit of public authorities and reduce uncertainty on the assessment reports and opinions issued. The researchers at the LITTORAL unit carry out their projects according to a foresight approach and are relevant to IFREMER’s long-term scientific projects carried out in thematic research units.