Hafrannsóknastofnun ‐ Icelandic Marine Research Institution, MRI (MRI)

Updated 2016-05-17

MRI's activities are organized into three main sections: Environment Section, Resources Section and Fisheries Advisory Section. Marine Environment Section: A large part of the sections work deals with environmental conditions (nutrients, temperature, salinity) in the sea, marine geology, and the ecology of algae, zooplankton, fish larvae, fish juveniles, and benthos. Amongst the larger projects undertaken within the Environment Section are investigations on currents using satellite monitored drifters and other modern technology, assessment of primary productivity, secondary productivity, overwintering and spring spawning of zooplankton, and studies on spawning of the most important exploited fish stocks. Marine Resources Section: Investigations are undertaken on the exploited stocks of fish, crustaceans, mollusks and marine mammals. The major part of the work involves estimating stock sizes and the total allowable catch (TAC) for each stock. Examples of some large projects within the Marine Resources Section are annual ground fish surveys covering the shelf area around Iceland and surveys for assessing inshore and deep‐water shrimp, lobster, and scallop stocks. The pelagic stocks of capelin and herring are also monitored annually in extensive research surveys using acoustic methods. Further, in recent years an extensive program concentrating on multi‐species interactions of exploited stocks in Icelandic waters has also been carried out. A designated project for improving understanding of the dynamics of the ecosystem deep north of Iceland has been conducted in recent years. The Fisheries Advisory Section: The Fisheries Advisory Section scrutinizes stock assessments and prepares the formal advice on TAC´s and sustainable fishing strategies for the government. Supporting departments: Important supporting departments are, the Electronic Department and the Fisheries Library. The Electronic Department supervises installation, testing and maintenance of research instruments. The Fisheries Library collects books and periodicals in all fields of marine sciences and publishes the MRI report series. 20 SAON: Inventory on Monitoring Networks Iceland Main gaps: Not specified Network type: ‐ Thematic observations ‐ Field stations ‐ Community based observations

Time frame

Project time span
1937 -
Data collection
1937 -
Data processing
1937 -
Data reporting
1937 -

Contact information

Contact person
- -
Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Director General

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Human media
Marine fish
Seawater/suspended particulate matter


Regions studied
Iceland EEZ

Data availability

Data availability and access


Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

MRI has five branch laboratories located in fishing communities in different parts of Iceland. Today these branches are located in Akureyri, Höfn, Vestmannaeyjar, Ísafjörður and Ólafsvík. The five branch laboratories provide important data on fisheries and carry out research in close contact with local fishing interests. MRI runs two research vessels: Bjarni Sæmundsson (55 m) and Árni Friðriksson (70 m). The research vessels are able to operate a variety of fishing gear. They also provide facilities for many other types of sampling and measurements. Shipboard laboratories allow sample analysis and data processing at sea. About 30 people man the ships. MRI runs a 1350 m2 experimental mariculture station with access to geothermal water 7 km west of Grindavik, SW Iceland. The species mainly studied in recent years for aquaculture purposes are halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), cod (Gadus morhua), turbot (Scopthalmus maximus) and arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Other experimental work have dealt with species such as catfish (Anarhichas lupus), spotted catfish (Anarhichas minor), lemon sole (Microstomus kitt), Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), salmon (Salmo salar), seithe (Pollachius virens), lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus), butterfish (Pholis gunnellus), Iceland scallop (Chlamys islandica), green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), abalone (Haliotis rufescens) and Japanese abalone, Ezo awabi (Haliotus discus hannai). MRI has also participated in several aquaculture projects outside the institute, frequently in cooperation with private companies.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

Hafrannsóknastofnun ‐ Icelandic Marine Research Institution, MRI (MRI)

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

Not specified Networks: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) (ICES)

Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project


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