About Us

The Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) stands within the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics of the University of Galway, and was established through the Beaufort Award in 2008. Since then, it has developed into the foremost marine economic analysis centre in Ireland. SEMRU was established with the objective of expanding marine socio-economic research capability in Ireland, centred around a research cluster in Galway led by University of Galway and linking with Teagasc and the Marine Institute. 

The research of the unit is interdisciplinary in nature with a focus on marine socio-economics and coastal rural development issues. The main research focus involves supporting policymakers, decision makers and stakeholders in the marine and coastal sectors with a variety of social and economic analyses. These analyses cover such topics as fisheries, shipping, recreation, planning and development in the marine and coastal zones, valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services, and measuring the marine economy.  

Key Objectives of the Unit

  •  Build marine socio-economic research capacity;
  • Carry out research which will underpin the modelling and analysing of the current state of the marine sector in Ireland;
  • Support/complement scientific research projects through providing economic evaluation to marine science findings;
  • Attract research funding , including Irish funding and in particular European Commission funding;
  • Developing undergraduate and postgraduate modules in marine economics and policy; 
  • Train PhD students in socio economic research, thereby creating innovative capacity and enhanced competitiveness to the sector;
  • Provide placement for potential future researchers in the marine area, thereby upgrading their interest and skills.