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Environment Directorate

The Environment Directorate includes the following divisions:

Ecosystems Policy

The team works to ensure that wildlife and natural habitats are appropriately managed and effectively conserved for future generations, including coordinating and delivering action under the Isle of Man Government Biodiversity Strategy 2015-2025 and Biosphere Isle of Man.

Manages the Ayres National Nature Reserve, undertaking appropriate habitat management and wildlife protection alongside public education and enjoyment.  Gives appropriate protection to sites of importance for wildlife conservation and effective management incentives to encourage landowners to undertake wildlife-friendly management on important sites, such as Area of Special Scientific Interest.

Operates licensing, to control the international trade in wildlife and wildlife products and protects species at risk. Monitor the regulation of shooting and regulation of keepers. Provides advice and promotes best practice on biodiversity issues, especially in relation to protected species and habitats, including weekly comments to Planning and Building Control. Protects and promotes the Island’s international relations by ensuring the Island meets its obligations under a number of multilateral environmental agreements. Coordinates work under the Single Use Plastics Reduction Plans for the Isle of Man Government, and for the Isle of Man Community to reduce the use of fossil fuels and reduce marine litter.

Ecosystems Policy button

Energy Policy Team 

The team liaises with a wide range of organisations within and outside of government to advise on energy policy, encourage energy efficiency and manage minerals.

Energy Policy Team

UNESCO Biopshere  

The Isle of Man is a UNESCO Biosphere under the global organisation’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man is run from within the Environment Directorate of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, although its activity is governed by a cross-community Stakeholder Partnership Group and the status belongs to everyone.

The three central of the Biosphere programme globally are sustainable development, conservation and learning.

Biospheres set local aims and ambitions and UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man’s are in its strategy ‘Working Together for a Sustainable Future’, under the five Es of economy, education, engagement, enjoyment and environment.

The Isle of Man’s Biosphere status encourages its population to learn about and cherish the Isle of Man’s special attributes and safeguard them for the future by making good decisions, as individuals, as organisations and as an Island.

UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man undergoes a periodic review (reaccreditation) by UNESCO in 2026 and is already working towards that.

Unesco Biosphere button


The Fisheries Division manages and protects fisheries and their supporting ecosystems within the Island and its territorial sea.

  • Its responsibilities are defined in legislation, primarily The Fisheries Act 2012 and The Wildlife Act 2009, and are informed by international agreements.
  • Departmental Strategies provide guidance as to how these responsibilities are implemented, including the Sea Fisheries Strategy, the Biodiversity Strategy, the Fisheries Enforcement Strategy, and the Native Freshwater Fisheries Strategy.

The Division;

  • Protects sites of marine and freshwater environmental and fisheries conservation importance.
  • Authorises activities in the sea and inland waterways to ensure compliance with legislation and sustainable use.
  • Provides for compliance and enforcement in relation to inland and marine waters.
  • Provides consents, comment and advice in relation to planning and development proposals.
  • Undertakes restocking and monitoring programmes to support inland fisheries.
  • Undertakes data collection and research to support improved management and sustainable exploitation of marine and inland waters and comply with local and international obligations.
  • Facilitates public engagement in the shared management of marine and inland waters. 
  • Manages and contributes to public awareness of the freshwater and marine zones of Biosphere Isle of Man.
  • Coordinates aquatic biosecurity management, ie. invasive non-native species.
  • Collaborates and with counterparts in other organisations providing regional input to wider fisheries management objectives.

Fisheries button

Environmental Protection Unit

The Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) is responsible for the regulation of inland waters and waste management. EPU monitor river water quality throughout the island as well as bathing water quality at designated beaches. EPU protect the Island's waters via discharge consents and pollution investigations. Similarly, all waste operations are regulated by EPU. This includes licencing of waste facilities and management of waste movements on and off island. EPU also investigate possible waste crimes. EPU also monitor coastal waters for eutrophication issues and chemical pollution as part of our international commitments to the OSPAR Convention.

Environmental Protection

Environment Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St Johns


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