The current Marine Research Institute began its history as the “Coastal Laboratory of Vigo” depending on the National Institute of Fisheries Research of Barcelona, in the German School in Vigo on 12th July 1951; even though it was opened on 23rd September 1952. Its aim was to meet the needs of the Fishery Sector, which was essential for the development of a country that needed to improve the management of its food resources after the Civil War (1936-1939).

The development of the Coastal Laboratory was marked by the study of the sea and the marine resources and their subsequent processing into food. Its geographical location in Galicia was fully justified by the great development of fishing since the 1940s, not only in near shore waters but also in distant waters such as the Grand Sole or Newfoundland. On the other hand, processed products (salting, refrigerated and canned) achieved great acceptance in both national and international markets. The development of aquaculture, especially mussels, also marked the beginning of the activity of the Coastal Laboratory.

First laboratory in the old Institute of Fisheries Research, today IIM-CSIC

The arrival of democracy brought the decentralisation of the National Institute of Fisheries Research, which became the Coastal Laboratory of Vigo, an independent institute, under the name of Institute of Fisheries Research in 1978 and changing to its current name in 1986, as this was more in line with the research the institute was developing.

In 1973 the current headquarters of the centre in Bouzas were opened, where the group of M. López Benito began its studies on the technology of fishery products in the new pilot plant of the Institute. Before the current building was opened, part of the German School of Vigo was occupied (1951-1960) as well as an independent headquarters in the Orillamar Avenue (1961-1973). In its more recent history, we can highlight the opening of a building attached to the current one and equipped with facilities for experimentation in marine cultures.

The pioneering researchers (B. Andreu, A. Figueras, F. Fraga, R. Margalef, etc.) studied the hydrography and ecology of phytoplankton and the biology of sardine and molluscs in Galicia. By the end of the 1960s M.G. Larrañeta was incorporated into the Institute; he initiated the investigation in demersal fisheries of Galicia.

First IIM-CSIC researchers 

First IIM-CSIC headquarters located in what was later the German School

Read more