The Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS) was established in 1952 by Lord Callaghan as one of the world's first environmental non-Governmental Organisations. ACOPS originally concentrated on encouraging international agreements to reduce marine oil pollution. Since then, ACOPS has expanded its interests to include land-based sources of marine pollution, as well as other aspects of degradation of the coastal and marine environment.

Recent Operations

Our recent operations have included:

  • assisting national governments and regional organisations to develop and implement projects, activities, and mechanisms to protect the coastal and marine environment;
  • researching marine pollution/environment problems, and formulation of concrete proposals for their resolution;
  • designing policy options and conducting studies in co-operation with central and local governments and intergovernmental agencies, as well as regional and global organisations;
  • preparing project proposals for Partnership Conferences which bring together governmental and non-governmental stakeholders;
  • developing educational programmes covering all scientific, legal and political aspects of the marine and coastal environment;
  • promoting the North-South dialogue; and
  • building public awareness campaigns, through high-level international conferences and parliamentary meetings.


How ACOPS is Managed

ACOPS is an international, private, independent, non-political organisation enjoying UK charitable status. It is funded by foundations, governmental and intergovernmental institutions, companies and private individuals. A strong team of internationally recognised experts work closely with ACOPS, covering such vital areas as policy development, fisheries management, corporate environmental management, oceanography, pollution research and control, biology, and managing impacts of tourism, providing a solid basis to the multidisciplinary, trans-sectoral approaches encouraged by ACOPS.

Announcement death

I am very sad to tell you of the sudden death on 13 August 2014 of our warmly and highly regarded colleague Professor Dr. Laurence Mee, Director of the Scottish Association of Marine Science, Chairman of ACOPS and long-time eminent researcher and esteemed policy activist on every aspect of the ocean environment. He had been sailing with his son the day before he had a stroke from which he did not recover consciousness. His career was focussed on engaging government and the public on critical issues, especially with regard to the oceans, by making use of the best research in the UK, Europe and internationally, and integrating this wide range of information in communications and advice on these issues that was both scholarly and accessible. He was an effective expert advisor of parliamentary committees as I saw myself.

Our community and, more importantly, our increasingly threatened oceans - the life-buoy of our planet - have lost a hugely influential and important advocate.

ACOPS would be pleased to receive tributes about his life that we can put on the web site at www.acops.org.uk
Julian Hunt