Institute of Marine Research

Last changed: 16 May 2022
The institute of marie Research is situated just by the sea in Lysekil. Photo.

The Institute of Marine Research in Lysekil is one of three divisions at the department of Aquatic Resources (SLU Aqua). We collect data on fish and shellfish, eg. commercially important species as cod, sprat, Norwegian lobster and shrimps as well as data on ecosystems. We analyse how the resources in the sea can be used sustainably and give advice to national and international stakeholders.

We study the effects of the environment on fish and the effects of fishery on the environment.

Datacollection and analysis

We collect and analyse our data to describe staus and trends in fish- and shellfish stocks and status of marine ecosystems. Marine litter found on the bottom of the sea in our surveys are also analysed.

A great part of the data collection and analysis conducted at the Institute of Marine Research is regulated by the EU Data Collection Regulation (EC No 199/2008) and partly financed by the EU.

We perform six internationally coordinated sureys and a number of national fish- and shellfish surveys. We also sample fish onboard commercial vessels  and from landnings.

Sampling is made by common fishing methods but we also develop methods that are less harmful to species and the environment eg. acoustics or video cameras.

The internationally coordinated surveys at sea use the research vessel R/V Svea. Surveys that are closer to land use the smaller vessels Hålabben or Smålabben and for some investigations we hire commercial vessers to sample from.

Biological advice for management

The scientific and advisory work is based largely on cooperation within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the European Commission expert groups and with universities and research institutes in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe. Advice from ICES working groups are the basis for the European Common Fishery Policy (CFP).

A lot of our work is on a mission from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water management (SWAM). An important part of our work is to scientifically evaluate if management regulations have had the desired effect or if there is a need for changes to achieve the objectives.

Reserach and education

Are you interested to work with research or education at the Marine institute? We have courses, individual projects and PhD. students. For questions, please contact Prof. Michele Casini.


The institute of Marine Research in Lysekil, with snow on the roof.
The Institute of Marine Science in winter clothes. The picture was taken in early 2011, when the department still belonged to the then Swedish Board of Fisheries. Later that year, the department became part of SLU Aqua at the The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
The fishlab at the research vessel Svea
The art of counting fish in the sea. On board the research vessel Svea, we collect data on fish stocks in the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. This data is used, among other things, to make stock assessments.
A tiny squid, seen trough a microscope. Photo.
A small squid, sampled together with fish larvae, seen through a microscope.
Trawl coming out of the water
Trawl with separation grid that sorts out unwanted catch. In close collaboration with the fishing industry, we develop selective fishing methods.
The research vessel R / V Svea is named by H.K.H. Crown Princess Victoria. Photo.
The research vessel R / V Svea is named by H.K.H. Crown Princess Victoria 2019. All our international expeditions are run by Svea, which can be used for virtually all types of marine research and environmental monitoring.
Seals and comorants in archipelago
Predators such as seals and cormorants have increased in recent decades. We investigate how it affects the ecosystem and analyze, among other things, the animals' food choices.


Joakim Hjelm, Head of Division
Department of Aquatic Resources, Institute of Marine Research, SLU, +46 10 478 40 64