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Ocean and coast

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The ocean coast and fjords

Norway has a long coast, deep fjords and extensive territorial waters, and they are all teeming with life.

fishing boat, stockfish and a small arctic village

The total human footprint

Many of human activities affects marine life. To know how much a single ecosystem can handle, we need to know the total footprint.

Hummerteina live

This is how you avoid ghost fishing

This is how we reduce the risk of fishing gear loss.

Dyngadjupet i Jøssingfjorden

Mining waste

Dumping mining waste in the sea or fjords can have a negative impact on marine ecosystems.


Offshore wind

Offshore wind farms can affect marine ecosystems both during development and in operation.


The ocean’s climate

Climate change is affecting the oceans themselves and everything that lives in them. The Institute of Marine Research monitors Norwegian waters in various ways, and our data going back to the end of the 19th century gives us valuable insight into the ocean’s climate.

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Plastic litter in the oceans

Everything from tiny particles to big chunks of plastic are floating around in the oceans. Large quantities end up on beaches as well as on the sea bottom.

Lakselusmodellen hele Norge


Models represent a simplified view of the reality and are used to collect information side by side with observations. Models can also be used to describe what is hard or impossible to measure directly. At the Institute of Marine Research models are important to understand ocean currents, fish stock populations, aquaculture, salmon lice or ecosystems.

Dykkar set ut hydrofon og kamera


Life under the sea isn’t as quiet as you might think. Both fish and sea mammals court, frighten one another and share information using sounds, which carry much further in water than in air.

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Otoliths, also called earstones, are often referred to as the fish's black box. By analyzing otoliths, one can learn about the age, growth, type of fish (e.g. coastal cod/cod), temperature conditions, diet, migration pattern, maturation, number of spawning periods, genetic diversity and pollution. The Institute of Marine Research has collected large amounts of otoliths from the beginning of the 20th century to the present day.


Seismic surveys

Seismic surveys use powerful, low-frequency sound waves to map and analyse the ground below the sea floor in order to locate oil and gas reserves. Their frequency range overlaps with the frequency range that fish can hear, so they can be disturbing to fish.

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Tagged species

The Institute of Marine Research has several projects where labelling of different fish species is included. The marks contain data on the temperature of the sea, how deep the fish has swum, how much it has grown since it was marked, etc. 

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Deep-sea creatures: Mesopelagic resources

Fish and other animals that live at depths of 200-1,000 metres are referred to as mesopelagic. The world’s oceans are probably home to more than ten billion tonnes of these species.

Mytilus edulis   Førdefjorden   Engebøfjellet 22 04 2016 3

New marine resources for food and feed

Only two percent of the food we humans eat comes from the ocean. There is great potential to increase this proportion by utilizing more species that are currently little used for food and feed.