With a staff of almost 700 the Institute of Marine Research is Norway's largest centre of marine science. The main task is to provide advice to Norwegian authorities on aquaculture and the ecosystems of the Barents Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea and the Norwegian coastal zone and the institute is heavily involved in developing integrated management plans for the three larger marine ecosystems. At present the institute is involved in base-line mapping of bottom habitats in Norwegian waters, and the activities are focused on: the distribution of natural resources; biodiversity; the physical environment supporting bottom communities; vulnerable habitats; impacts from fishing; sediment types; and chemical contaminants. Findings provide the background information needed to support future management decisions made to safeguard marine benthic organisms and protect vulnerable habitats. The overall aim of research and management advice provided by IMR is to ensure that Norway's marine resources are harvested in a sustainable way.
Further information on the Institute of Marine Research is provided at http://www.imr.no/.