The research programme in optical oceanography at Menai bridge is particularly concerned with the optics of turbid water. Highlights of this work include the development of methods for determining the surface concentration of suspended sediments from visible band satellite images, and the application of these measurements to improve our modelling of the physics of suspended sediments in shelf seas. This work continues, and recent advanced have included a successful explanation of isolated turbidity maxima, which appear to defy diffusion, and development of methods for estimating suspended sediment floc size from space.

A second theme here has been the optics of coloured dissolved organic matter (CDOM), and the exploration of the possibilities of remote sensing of salinity in estuaries, using CDOM as a proxy. Not all of this work has been confined to Europe: in 1998 a survey was conducted of the optics of the Zambezi river plume, and collaborations and field work have been and carried out with staff at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, during which we developed and tested a theory of the interaction of the solar daily cycle and the tide. Much of this work is too recent to have been cited much, but one recent paper “Interpreting the colour of an estuary” was the third most downloaded paper from the journal’s science direct web site for 2004.

BMRI has good infrastructure facilities for research. State-of-the-art gadgets are used for practical work in the laboratories, experiments at the sea, and trials in the fish and shrimp hatcheries and grow-out systems. Main infrastructure facilities include:

  • Fish hatchery
  • Shrimp hatchery
  • Research laboratories
  • Boat house and jetty
  • Marine aquarium and museum

For aquaculture research, there are two on-campus hatcheries which have the capabilities of any modern finfish and shrimp hatchery, from broodstock conditioning to continuous live feeds production, to larval rearing systems. Besides broodstock management, captive breeding and larval rearing, trials are also conducted on grow-out systems. Facilities for quarantine, chemical analysis, water quality remediation, filtration, formulated feed preparation and cryopreservation of gametes exist in the hatcheries. With the facilities available, the hatcheries support research aimed at developing new technologies and improving the existing systems. In recent years, we have given special attention to green technology aquaculture modules and integrated multitrophic systems as a part of our efforts towards adapting aquaculture to climate change.

For ocean observations and other purposes requiring field work at sea, there is a fleet of small boats and a sophisticated research vessel, Galaxea, with facilities for desalination, navigation, telecommunication, sampling, and SCUBA diving among others. Use of boats and diving activities are managed by the ‘Boat House’. It has various sections: winch-control chamber, workshop, SCUBA diving unit, boat berthing space, ramp and jetty in addition to an administrative block.

An important component of the Institute is the Marine Aquarium and Museum which is utilized for biodiversity education, research and public outreach. It houses a growing collecting of marine animals and is a show-case of marine biodiversity. It has three main sections: A deep dive diorama, an aquarium area and a marine museum. Visitors can have a glimpse of what lies beneath the waves. Arrangements inside the aquarium display ecosystems as complex communities of organisms interacting with their environment for a unique learning experience. The museum section offers close viewing of the preserved remains of marine flora and fauna.

Analytical work can be carried out in the following laboratories which are equipped with latest gadgets:

  • Microbiology and pathology laboratory
  • Biotechnology laboratory
  • Nutrition laboratory
  • Live culture laboratory
  • Physical oceanography laboratory
  • Chemical oceanography laboratory
  • Biological oceanography laboratory
  • Tropical ecosystem laboratory
  • Wet laboratory
  • Special instruments laboratory
  • Reference collection laboratory

BMRI has a modest hostel facility. It is not a regular hostel for long-term stay but developed for providing accommodation to a limited number of persons whose research work requires staying at the Institute overnight.  


R & D activities of BMRI are generously assisted by the University and government agencies. Besides, foreign professional institutions committed to the cause of con­servation of marine resources and ecologically sustainable development of sea­food organisms through aquaculture have also extended support to specific pro­jects. Recently, the private sector willing to fulfill its corporate social responsibility role has started supporting our research initiatives.

Most of the research projects include the provision of scholarship to students   reg­istered for degree courses. However, the award of scholarship is competitive and not guaranteed.


BMRI facilitates applied research with commercial spin-off, and towards this end, welcomes cooperation with the industry, and R and D institutions. This helps in the transfer of scientific discovery or technology to the private sector where the business skills can develop it into a marketable product or service. Linking of academics with entrepreneurs serves to combine vastly different skills and expertise to help commercialize the innovations and contribute to a knowledge-based economy. 

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