The monitoring of organic matter, suspended or dissolved in the water column, is relevant for the study of the aquatic environment. Actually, the Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) represents a major reservoir of reactive carbon in the global carbon cycle, thus influencing significantly the marine ecosystem. Due to the strong absorption in the near ultraviolet, DOM reduces considerably the extinction path of solar light in the water column, affecting phytoplankton population and its vertical distribution. The measurement of the DOM absorption coefficient has to be regarded as a good parameter for the monitoring of water quality. This paper deals with the measurements carried out during the oceanographic campaign 'Marine Fronts,' which took place in the Western Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean from July 14 to August 5, 1998. In this measurement campaign, a high spectral resolution fluorescence lidar (FLIDAR) was installed on the rear-deck of the O/V 'Urania,' acquiring remote fluorescence spectra both in ship motion and in stations. A particular attention was devoted to the monitoring of DOM distribution in the different water masses in marine frontal areas. The lidar data were compared and integrated with SST satellite data and biological samplings. The results show that FLIDAR data agree with satellite imagery, particularly for marine front detection. The comparison with water sample data gave indications for retrieving the DOM absorption coefficient directly from fluorescence remote spectra. In addition, a protein like fluorescence band was detected in the measurements carried out on total suspended matter filtered from the water samplings.