The Commission was created early in the last century to promote international research in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. CIESM acts as a focus for the exchange of ideas, the communication of scientific information and the development of scientific standards across the Basin.
In service to science, the Commission promotes communication and active cooperation among marine scientists of various disciplines and from diverse horizons engaged in research on the Mediterranean and the Black Seas. CIESM organizes research workshops and syntheses up-to-date scientific knowledge in the form of workshop Monographs, biodiversity Atlases, or high-resolution digital maps of the sea bottom.
In service to society, CIESM draws upon its foremost experts and the most current scientific knowledge to deliver impartial and authoritative advice on a variety of issues, focused on the dynamics, processes, biodiversity, pollution and lasting protection of this unique ecosystem. In addition through its various monitoring programs, the Commission keeps a watch at the regional level over sensitive indicators of change, recording warming trends, seasonal changes in absolute sea-level, trace contaminants, introduced exotic species, harbour biodiversity, and zooplankton indicators.