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The importance of oceans and seas can be considered from two perspectives; a) their intrinsic importance in the planet b) exploitation that humans can have from them. Holding more than 96% of the Earth's water, the oceans cover about 71% of the earth's surface. They regulate the climate and weather of planet earth. Life almost certainly originated in the ocean. Ocean plays a key role in producing oxygen and absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, and it is the habitat of many organisms.

Ocean economy which is the activities related to the exploitation of maritime resources (harvesting of living resources, extraction of non-living resources, and maritime trade and commerce) is growing. Considering this significance and regarding that a wide area of the territory of Iran with a length of more than 5700 km consists of the shores of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, the existence of a national institution active in various fields of ocean science in the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been of strategic importance.  On this basis, the Iranian National Center for Oceanography (INCO) was established in 1992 according to the agreement between the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology of Islamic Republic of Iran and UNESCO. In 19th March 2010, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology approved the promotion of “Iranian National Center for Oceanography (INCO)” to “Iranian National Institute for Oceanography (INIO)” and on 8th June 2013, approved the promotion of Iranian National Institute for Oceanography (INIO) to the “Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS)”.

Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology with the following aims:

- Basic oceanographic studies and theorization

- Planning long-term programs for protection, preservation and promotion of the marine ecosystems as well as optimum utilization of them

- Development of research-based decision making and decision taking in different marine and oceanographic fields

- Promoting the scientific developments in different oceanographic fields taking the foresight approach

- Developing the financial sources of the institute and utilization of the financial supports of national and international organizations as well as the support of private section, especially the scientific societies and non-governmental organizations

- Giving services to the society and expanding the general and specialized oceanographic trainings

- Developing interactions between related national and international organizations for raising the role of marine resources in economical, social, political and cultural developments


The most important functions and responsibilities of INIOAS are:

- Implementation of major scientific and applied researches in all marine fields

- Establishment and development of marine research laboratories in the institute and Centers at the coasts of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Caspian Sea.

- Cooperation with various organizations in the implementation of their research projects considering the agreement between both parties

- Organizing national, regional and international training courses, seminars and conferences in different oceanographic fields

- Helping universities in establishing courses for marine sciences and technologies

- Providing necessary facilities for conducting new marine technologies into the country

- Information exchange with other marine centers and organizations

- Providing consultation to the authorities of the related marine organizations for defining the country marine policies

- Initiating communication and cooperation with international and regional oceanographic organizations


Research Centers and Departments

Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science operates 3 centers and 6 Departments:

► Ocean sciences Research center

- Marine Living Sciences Dept. is active in marine ecology, marine biology, chemical oceanography, and marine environment.

- Marine Non-living Sciences Dept. is active in marine geology, sedimentology, physical oceanography, marine meteorology, and marine geophysics.

- Marine Policy Dept. is active in marine policy, marine economics, law of the sea, international relations, and management of marine and coastal recourses.

► Ocean Engineering and Technology Research center

- Coastal Oceanography Dept. Some activities of this department are as follows: carrying out researches on the coastal currents, wave characteristics, coastal changes and sediment transportation, land restoration, and modeling of tsunami, tropical storms and storm surges.

- Ocean Technology Dept. is active in numerical modeling and investigating the ways for conducting marine technologies into the country

- Oceanic Data Management & Remote Sensing Dept. is active in oceanographic data and information, satellite oceanography, and marine geomatics.

          ►Atmospheric Sciences Research center

-         Air-Sea Phenomena Dept. is active in determining the wind field in Iranian Seas; Modeling of Air-Sea phenomena (wind-driven waves, storm surge, sea-breeze winds, thunderstorms and effective squalls on Iran's coasts and seas), Correction and localization of available models (current and wind-driven waves models), and providing basic and specialized training courses.

-         Climatology Dept. is active in investing seasonal and climate events effective on Iran; Identifying and reviewing some meteorological phenomena affecting the coastal and marine areas of Iran; Studying the present climate prediction models on a global scale and mesoscale, and adapting them; Investigating Climate Change and climate of the marine and coastal environment using the adapted models; Studying of paleoclimate change; and providing basic and specialized training courses.

-         Atmospheric Prediction Dept. is active in reviewing present large scale Atmospheric prediction models in order to measure and adapt them; Designing mesoscale prediction models for Atmosphere and Ocean; Designing statistic Prognostic model; Issuing improved Atmospheric-Oceanic hazards center, and providing basic and specialized training course.


Iranian National Institute for Oceanography has 4 modern equipped laboratories:

- Marine Biology Lab.

- Marine Chemistry & Environment Lab.

- Marine Geology Lab.

- Marine Physics Lab.

- Marine Biotechnology Lab.

  International Activities

This Institute has a wide range of international activities. INIOAS cooperates with international and regional governmental and non-governmental institutes, organizations, and companies. The Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science has organized many national, regional and international workshops, training courses and conferences in cooperation with the international organizations. The organizations, projects and networks which INIOAS is their national or regional coordinators are:

“Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO)”, “International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE)”, “Global Ocean Observing System for Indian Ocean (IOGOOS)”, “Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)”, “Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS)”.

Furthermore, the Operational Center of International Oceanography Institute (IOI) in Iran is located in the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science. This institute is also the national reference of “Inter-Islamic Science and Technology Network on Oceanography (INOC)”.

Centers (Research stations)

Achieving its goals and accessing the coastal areas more easily, INIOAS had established 4 Center in the northern and southern coasts of Iran.

► Gulf of Oman and Indian Ocean Center (Chabahar)

► Caspian Sea Oceanography Center (Nowshahr) 

► Persian Gulf  Oceanography Center (Boushehr) 

►Persian Gulf  Oceanography Center (Bandar Abbas)