Welcome to the Institute of Marine Sciences in Barcelona.

The Institute belongs to the CSIC’s Natural Resources Area and is the largest marine research center in Spain and one of the most important in the Mediterranean region. It is entirely devoted to the study of oceans and seas.

The Institute’s long experience and a team of over 200 specialists in different fields of oceanographic research (physics, chemistry, geology and biology) give the ICM a broad vision of the marine ecosystem, and the ability to assess changes and human impacts on the environment and seek appropriate solutions.

The ICM is constituted by four departments: 1. Marine Biology and Oceanography  2.  Marine Geosciences  3. Physical and Technological Oceanography  4.Renewable Marine Resources.

The researchers of these departments take part in national and international projects and in oceanographic surveys in almost all the seas and oceans of the world.

To facilitate the scientific work of its staff, the ICM also has various technical and support services, which are presented briefly below. Some of these services (Chemical Analysis, Coastal Ocean Observatory, Electron Microscopy, Biological and Geological Collections and Flow Cytometry) can be used by researchers from other institutions and by the general public (Library). In conjunction with the CSIC's publications service, the ICM publishes Scientia Marina, the only scientific journal dedicated to oceanography that is published in Spain.

As public institutions, the ICM is also committed to communicating and disseminating the knowledge acquired through their activities.





A brief history of the Institute of Marine Sciences


  • 1951 The Fisheries Research Institute (IIP) was created on 3 October under the direction of Dr. Francisco García del Cid. This Institute consisted of a group of laboratories distributed along the Spanish coast, with two main lines of marine research: marine biology and renewable marine resources.
  • 1955 The scientific journal of the IIP was created under the name Investigación Pesquera (now Scientia Marina).
  • 1957 A new building was built for the Barcelona laboratory in the Barceloneta district: the ground floor was fitted out as aquarium open to the public, and the upper floors as research laboratories.
  • 1977 The CSIC's first oceanographic vessel was launched with the name of the first director of the ICM, García del Cid.
  • 1979 The laboratories located in the rest of Spain became independent but the Barcelona laboratory kept the original name, the Fisheries Research Institute.
  • 1980/1985 The IIP extended its research lines with the creation of the departments of Physical Oceanography and Marine Geology.
  • 1987 The old aquarium facilities were closed and the Institute changed its name to the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM).
  • 1988 A group of scientists from the ICM set up the first Spanish Antarctic station, the Juan Carlos I (BAE JCI).
  • 1990 The oceanographic vessel Hespérides was launched.
  • 1994 The Unit of Management of Oceanographic Vessels and Polar Facilities (UGBOIP) was set up to provide logistic support to Spanish maritime operations and to the Antarctic stations. It was located in the ICM building.
  • 2001 A new building was inaugurated in the Olympic Village district of Barcelona and the Mediterranean Marine and Environmental Research Center (CMIMA) was set up. The CMIMA comprises the Institute of Marine Sciences and the Marine Technology Unit, a remodeling of the former UGBOIP that added a research and development department to the existing services.