IOI Centres

The IOI Centres engage in a wide range of activities ranging from work at the community level to very specialised scientific research as part of large international programmes. The centres are embedded in the work programmes of their host institutes which are mostly universities and independent research institutes.


The roles of the IOI Training Centres are:

  • To prepare, organise, and conduct training programmes in Regional and Global Ocean Governance. The curricula applied will be developed in co-operation between a dedicated IOI Task Force, the IOI HQ and respective IOI Training Centres;
  • Support IOI in its core activities and in delivering IOI “products”;
  • All IOI training courses will be funded/co-funded by IOI and supervised by IOI HQ;
  • IOI Training Centres will closely co-operate with a dedicated IOI Centre in the geographical vicinity.

The roles of the IOI Centres are:

  • To collect information and provide organisational and operational support for IOI core activities and products such as training events and publications, and in international relations in the region;
  • IOI Centres shall be associated with an IOI Training Centre in the region and IOI shall support activities funded or co-funded and supervised by IOI HQ in co-operation with the related IOI Training Centre.

IOI Centres offering Training Programmes

IOI Canada

IOI China

IOI Egypt

IOI Malta

IOI South Africa

IOI Thailand

IOI Centres

IOI Costa Rica

IOI Germany


IOI Nigeria

IOI Training Partner                                  Turkmenistan



Mr Michael J A BUTLER, Director, IOI Canada

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia,


E:; (Madeleine Coffen-Smout, Programme Officer) (Jennifer Barr, Finance Officer)

W:                IOI Canada Facebook 


IOI Canada is a leading member of the worldwide network of International Ocean Institute centres and focal points. It is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation with over 40 years of experience working in Canada and internationally. Its mission is to promote responsible ocean governance and the stewardship and sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources in Canada and around the world.


Under a Memorandum of Agreement with Dalhousie University, the centre is housed on its campus in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Guidance is provided by the IOI Canada/Dalhousie Ocean Advisory Committee, whilst IOI staff conduct day-to-day activities.


Please explore the centre's website to learn more about IOI Canada's news and activities including the annual flagship Training Programme on Ocean Governance: Policy, Law and Management. This intensive, two-month course has provided interdisciplinary training for over 735 individuals from more than 100 countries since its inception in 1981.




Ms Qin LI, Director, IOI China

National Marine Data and Information Service (NMDIS), 

State Oceanic Administration, Ministry of Natural Resources of China, 

Hedong District, Tianjin, P R CHINA

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The IOI China Regional Centre for the Western Pacific Region was established under the Memorandum of Understanding between the International Ocean Institute (IOI), and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) of the People's Republic of China.


The SOA, established in 1964, with its Headquarters located in Beijing, is an administrative government agency in China responsible for the supervision and management of sea area use and marine environmental protection, for ensuring China's marine sovereignty and right, and for promoting research in marine science technology. The People's Republic of China plays an important role in the Western Pacific Region with respect to the promotion and development of the regional economy and improving marine resources utilization and protection of the coastal and marine environment, and SOA has achieved considerable experience in the sustainable development of ocean resources, marine environmental protection as well as international deep seabed research and development Antarctic research.


A 4-week residential Training Programme on Ocean Governance for the Western Pacific Region is organised by the International Ocean Institute in partnership with the State Oceanic Administration, Ministry of Natural Resources, P R China.




Dr Lamiaa Ismail MOHAMEDEIN (Chair of the Network of Centres), Director IOI Egypt

Suez Branch, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF)

Attaka, Suez, EGYPT

E:    IOI Egypt Facebook 


The National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries of Egypt (NIOF) was established in 1928 and is a governmental, non-profit scientific institution, with its Headquarters at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Cairo.  NIOF has four main branches; the Mediterranean Sea Branch in Alexandria, Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba Branch in Suez, Red sea branch in Hurghada and Inland Water and Aquaculture Branch in Al-Qanater Alhhairia.  Its main activities focus on basic and applied research and training in the fields of physical, chemical, geological and biological oceanography as well as fisheries and fish biology, and other interdisciplinary fields such as environment, coastal processes and aquaculture in fresh and marine waters.


Through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the International Ocean Institute (IOI), and the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries (NIOF) of Egypt, the NIOF accepts the Mission and goals of the IOI as they are presented in the IOI Statutes and agrees to work with the IOI in meeting them. 


IOI Egypt operates under the overall guidance of its Advisory Board, nominated and chaired by the President of NIOF, and under the daily management of its Director nominated by the President in consultation with the Executive Director of IOI.  The Director of IOI Egypt is responsible for the operations of the Centre and ensuring that the IOI, through its Managing Director, is continuously informed and is consulted on issues covering the functioning of the Centre.




Prof Alan DEIDUN, Course Manager,

IOI Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas

Department of Geosciences, University of Malta,

Msida, MALTA          

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IOI Malta was established by the University of Malta following a memorandum of understanding with the International Ocean Institute. The Centre organises a 5-week Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance for the Mediterranean, Black, Baltic and Caspian Seas in Malta.


IOI Malta aims to develop and implement research and studies related to the sea, promote education, training and public awareness as well as provide services mainly in physical oceanography targeting the sustainable use of ocean space and resources, their management and regulation as well as the promotion and conservation of the marine environment. IOI Malta seeks to sustain the interaction between local institutions that are active in marine affairs and promote an inter-sectorial approach at the national level. Special attention is dedicated to strengthen linkages to University departments in favour of collaborative multidisciplinary research and supporting courses in oceanography.


Learn more about the Spot the Alien Campaign launched by IOI Malta. 




Ms Judy Beaumont, Director IOI SA

Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, Kirstenbosch

Rhodes Drive, Newlands,


E:          W:            IOI SA Facebook


IOI SA was originally established in South Africa in early 1996. It was registered as a Non-Profit Organisation in 2012. The offices are located at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) Centre for Biodiversity Conservation at Kirstenbosch.


IOI SA organises an annual 4-week Training Program on Ocean Governance for Africa.  In addition, it runs shorter training programs on, for example, ocean literacy, governance of small-scale fisheries, and marine spatial planning. IOI SA also works on projects that promote good ocean governance and capacity development throughout Africa. IOI-SA is supported through funded projects, and has a strategic approach to seeking and developing sustainable mechanisms and partnerships for support.


More information about IOI SA’s project work and the annual training programmes can be seen on the IOI SA website  You can stay in touch with IOI SA’s activities, photos and news on the Facebook Page and Twitter (IOISA3) account.  




Dr Anuwat NATEEWATHANA, Director, IOI Thailand

Department of Marine and Coastal Resources,

Thung Song Hong, Khet Lak Si,

Bangkok 10210, THAILAND

E:, (Coordinator, Ms Saowalak Winyoonantakul)



During the first week of January 2022, the IOI and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) in Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the the IOI Training Centre in Thailand and Collaboration on Ocean Governance in the Southeast Asia Seas and the Indian Ocean. The activities on academic exchange and training programs on ocean governance under the MoU will promote the sustainability of marine resources and environment based on good governance, integrated policy-making and coastal community-based participatory approaches. The DMCR is the competent government agency in Thailand established under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment since 2002 with mandates to conserve, rehabilitate and protect marine and coastal resources, aiming to achieve sustainability.


Prior to this new host institute relationship, the IOI Thailand centre had been present and active in the country for the preceding 20 years and offered the annual Training Programme on Regional Ocean Governance and relevant subjects in the Southeast Asian Seas and Indian Ocean, in which the DMCR has taken part since 2016. 




Dr Mauro VARGAS, Director, IOI Costa Rica

Department of Physics, Universidad Nacional


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The IOI Regional Operational Centre for the Caribbean (IOI Costa Rica) was engendered in 1993, upon an invitation, through the Earth Council, by its authorities to Universidad Nacional. In 1994, the creation of IOI Costa Rica was enabled by agreement with participation of the Exact and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Philosophy and Letters, and Earth and Sea faculties, represented by academic units in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy, Psychology, Environment, Agrarian, International Relations, and the Master´s program in Economic Policy. During 1995-1997, activities were initiated with Spanish-speaking countries of the Wider Caribbean, Ecuador, and Peru. In 1997, the first major links were established with South Cone republics through an affiliation of the School of Marine Science of the University of Chile to IOI.


In 1995, IOI Costa Rica initiated its start-up programme and developed seminars, courses, and conferences, with full support from academicians and authorities of these four Faculties.


For more information about the latest news and activities, kindly click here. 





Prof Raimund BLEISCHWITZ, Director, IOI Germany

Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT) GmbH, (Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research)


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The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is a research and training institution in Bremen, Germany and was created to promote research, education and capacity building on the use and protection of aquatic ecosystems in the tropics. Its activities are conducted through the global network of its partners at universities and other research and educational institutions. ZMT is dedicated to an integrated scientific analysis of these ecosystems, their resources, sensitivity and reaction to natural changes and human interactions. It takes part in educational activities at universities and strongly engages in the International Master’s Program ISATEC (International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology), held in English at the University of Bremen, and offers specialized courses in various fields of coastal and marine research.


Through an agreement of cooperation between ZMT and the International Ocean Institute (IOI), with each contributing its respective expertise and channels, it is expected that a global network can be created going beyond science, seeking a comprehensive approach to addressing ocean and coastal issues, with interdisciplinary projects, involving natural and social sciences, economics, and legal elements addressing education, training and research.


ZMT and IOI have expressed their common interest to co-operate in their training and education activities. This has been underlined during discussions at other occasions and is the basis for a continuation of the cooperation between IOI and ZMT.




Dr Mortaza TAVAKOLI, Director, IOI Islamic Republic of Iran

Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS)


E: (Assistant, Ms Fahimeh FOROUGHI)        W:


The Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS) is the main governmental institute which is active in different researches in fields of ocean sciences and technologies. It works under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of IR Iran and it aims to plan long-term programs for protection, preservation and promotion of the marine ecosystems as well as optimum utilization of them, to develop research-based decision making and decision taking in different marine and oceanographic fields and to develop interactions between related national and international organizations for raising the role of marine resources in economic, social, political and cultural developments.


Through a Memorandum of Understanding the IOI Centre in the Islamic Republic of Iran will help to promote effective and wise management of ocean and coastal resources, eradicate poverty in coastal areas, organise efficient protection of the marine environment as a common heritage of mankind and facilitate exchange of knowledge and information, enhance the national scientific capabilities and carry out training and educational efforts, focusing its activities on the Persian Gulf area and cooperates with IOI Caspian Sea.


The Centre will help strengthen links between the national and regional institutions working in the same area and having interests in the Centres activities. 




Akanbi Bamikole WILLIAMS, Director, IOI Western Africa

Nigerian Institute for Oceanography & Marine Research (NIOMR)

Victoria Island, Lagos, NIGERIA

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Through a Memorandum of Understanding between the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) and the International Ocean Institute (IOI), the IOI-Nigeria’s operational Office is located in the premises of NIOMR headquarters in Lagos.  NIOMR is a research Institute under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Mandate of the Institute is to carry out research into the living and non-living resources of the Nigerian Territorial Waters and beyond. NIOMR’s specific mandates include:

1.    Abundance, distribution, biological and other characteristics of species of fish and other marine forms of life and              management measures for their rational exploitation and conservation

2.    Improvement of brackish / marine waters aquaculture

3.  Genetic characterization of marine and brackish water culturable fish species including the development of improved strains of fish species culture;

4.    Effective and sustainable management of fisheries resources through improved post-harvest preservation, utilization and storage using profitable technological processes

5.    Physical characteristics of the Nigerian territorial waters, the high seas beyond, topography of the sea beds and deposits on / or under the sea beds

6.     Effect of pollution on the health of Nigerian coastal waters and its prevention

7.     The socio-economic challenges of exploitation of the resources of the sea and brackish water

8.     Global climate change and sea level rise

9.    The improvement of coastal and brackish water fishing and fish culture through the design and fabrication of ecosystem friendly fishing gear types and fisheries implements

10. The nature of the coastal and marine environment including coastal erosion, monitoring marine hazards, forecasting/prediction and the topography of the sea beds and deposits on or under it

11.    Extension research and liaison services

12.    Provision of technical training in areas of mandate


The IOI offers opportunities for training, education and research of an interdisciplinary and comprehensive nature focusing on the subject areas and specialties in NIOMR’s mandate.