The Department of Fisheries was founded in 1964 within the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources; its mandate was the development of fisheries and the rational management of marine resources in general. In the year 2000, the Department was renamed to Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) because of the significant expansion of scientific research in its various aspects of activities to broader scopes and objectives.

The mission of the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research (DFMR) is the sustainable management and development of fisheries and aquaculture and the protection and preservation of the marine environment through an integrated scientific approach. The vision of the Department is the economic and social prosperity of the fisheries sector in Cyprus , in a clean, healthy and productive marine environment.

There are five Divisions within the DFMR: 1) Marine Environment, 2) Aquaculture, 3)Fisheries Control and Structures, 4)Fisheries Resources and 5) Fishing Shelters and Publicity. The Naval Service of the Department supports all of its activities in the sea.

The Department of Fisheries and Marine Research started implementing the Turtle Conservation Programme in 1978, after surveys in 1976/1977 and has continued implementing it uninterruptedly since then.