In 1946, under the Protectorate of the French Republic in Morocco, the Institute of Maritime Fisheries of Morocco (IPM) was created under the supervision of the State Secretariat for Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Marine Merchant . It was attached to the French Scientific and Technical Institute for Maritime Fisheries (ISTPM) and to the French Office of Scientific and Technical Research Overseas (ORSTOM) of France. At the request of the Moroccan Government, the IPM is formed by oceanographers located from ORSTOM, to which are added a few locally recruited specialists. The Institute did not operate until 1951.
Research programs focused on marine currents and species biology. The most important works were carried out in ichthyology, oceanography, sedimentology, food chemistry, algae chemistry, fishing techniques, etc. In 1969, the IPM was attached to the newly established National Fisheries Office (ONP) and called the Scientific Institute of Maritime Fisheries (ISPM). A new impetus is then given to the ISPM: its staff are gradually reinforced by Moroccan researchers trained mainly from the Agronomic and Veterinary Institute, and its programs are oriented towards applied research for the fisheries sector. ISPM consisted of undertaking scientific research in the fields of biology, fisheries technology and fishery products.
On 14 September 1972, an agreement was signed between the Moroccan Government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to establish a project for the development of marine fisheries. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the cooperation of the National Fisheries Office (ONP), was responsible for the implementation of this four-year project.
Since 1973, the UNDP / FAO programs, established at the ISPM, initiated the first fishery resource and technology assessment. This stage coincides with the adoption by Morocco of an exclusive 70-nautical-mile zone and its willingness to control its marine resources. In 1979, a systematic acoustic survey program was started to assess and control the size of pelagic fish stocks along the Atlantic coast of Morocco, with the joint efforts of ISPM and FAO (UNDP Project / FAO MOR 78/018 and the Norwegian Development Fund NORAD / Project GCP / MOR / 008 / NOR).
The establishment in 1981 of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 miles off the coast of Morocco (giving the Kingdom sovereignty over more than one million Km² spread over 3,500 km of sea front) and the creation in 1981 of a ministry responsible for maritime fisheries, highlighted the importance of the Moroccan fishing heritage. The rights acquired by Morocco under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, namely exclusive sovereign rights for the exploration, exploitation and management of the natural resources contained in its EEZ, were accompanied by an obligation of conservation and rational management of resources.
However, the complexity of factors and causal relationships that govern the dynamics of these resources makes management difficult. Only an appropriate scientific research, equipped with powerful tools, makes it possible to understand the knowledge of the resources as the evolution of their abundance. It thus provides the Fisheries Administration with the necessary means to plan, regulate and rationalize the exploitation of fisheries while preserving the quality of the marine environment and its diversity. There is therefore a consensus around the need to establish Scientific Research as a tool for decision-making in fisheries. Thus, in 1984, the Ministry of Maritime Fisheries supported the creation of an Institute, with administrative and financial autonomy and providing the scientific advice needed to draw up and implement fisheries exploitation. Given the importance of the fisheries sector to economic, social and environmental development plans, and in order to take into account the recommendations emanating from the international bodies to which Morocco has subscribed, a series of measures have been taken by the public authorities. In this context, the creation of the National Institute of fisheries research (Institut National de Recherche Halieutique : INRH), a public scientific and technical institution with the legal personality and financial autonomy necessary for the implementation of the Scientific Research.