The Institute of Marine Research is the largest marine institute in Norway and covers marine living resources, marine environment and aquaculture. 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. The aim of research and management advice provided by IMR is to ensure that Norway's marine resources and aquaculture industry are managed and develop within a sustainable frame. IMR are making available both landbased (ELI) and cage-based (CEL) facilities in Matredal and disease research facilities (BDL) in Bergen.

IMR Matre has access to cultured and wild stocks of salmonids like Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout (only cultured fish), and Atlantic cod. In all these species experiments can also be designed with full-sib and half-sib groups. The available Atlantic salmon stocks include wild salmon from several Norwegian rivers, and wild cod stocks. The facilities has been used for species varying from salmonids to halibut, cod, herring and horse mackerel, and has also been approved for a variety of other species (e.g. mackerel, capelin, hake, sand eel, saithe, sea bass, sea bream and krill).
AQUAEXCEL2020 visitors will be invited to work in conjunction with one of IMR’s eighteen research groups and if appropriate with existing research programs. Our experience is that a close integration of visitors is stimulating and lead to development of mutual ideas and networks. The researchers that work in aquaculture related topics produce more than 100 peer-review papers every year and create a stimulating scientific environment. IMR will designate a contact person and together with the liaison officer and personnel from the technical and biological support groups make sure that the visitors will be given the same support as the local researchers. This support includes full access to e-mail, internet, office facilities, computing library and chemical lab facilities. We can assist visiting scientists with accommodation nearby.
IMR Matre has been a necessary part of the activities in several national projects and EU projects like PUBERTIMING, GUTINTEGRITY, WEALTH, FASTFISH, AKVAMAX, SALMOTRIP and LIFECYCLE and the scientists are involved in collaborative research with colleagues from within the EU and from North America, and we have frequent visits of guest scientists. Each year, trainees spend 1-3 month training periods at our research facilities. The trainees are funded by EU programs such as Erasmus, as well as from development cooperation countries (e.g. South Africa, Cuba, Thailand and Indonesia), or from the industry. Several important scientific achievements have been obtained by the users of the infrastructure. The studies leading to a seasonal independent production of salmon smolts and photoperiod control of growth and sexual maturation in Atlantic salmon and cod must be highlighted.

Name of the infrastructure: IMR Matre CEL
Location: Matredal Western Norway, 80 minutes drive north of Bergen
Website address:
Contact: Ragnar Nortvedt


IMR Matre also includes the Cage Environment Laboratory (CEL) which consists of 12x12m cages fully equipped with automatic computerized feeding. The Cage Environment Laboratory (CEL) is a specialised facility for behaviour and environmental studies. The equipment of this cage lab includes video cameras, echo sounders, continuous logging of T, S, O2 and light intensity in all cages. On-farm studies of behaviour is a powerful tool to understand the needs and improve the welfare of caged fish. The Cage Environment Laboratory at Matre Research Station provides a unique international research platform for high-resolution studies of behavioural and physiological responses of free-swimming fish in a dynamic environment. The overall aim is improved management advice and farming protocols.
This cage facility is also excellent for feeding and photoperiod studies and can be used for species like Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and Atlantic cod. The CEL has been used to study the environmental preferences of salmon by operating Data Storage Tags into the body cavity of salmon and comparing the temperature and pressure (depth) data with the high resolution environmental data sampling from the monitoring system.
The CEL has also been used to study the feed intake, growth and behaviour of Atlantic salmon in a submerged cage system, and the effect of fish density on behaviour and vertical positioning in a highly stratified environment.
The present scientific activity at the facility is divided into four major research areas: Fish behaviour and welfare, growth and reproductive physiology, feeds, feeding and flesh quality and biological mechanisms.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

See above description for IMR Matre Cell.

Modality of access

Visitor planning to perform experiments in the IMR Matre facility will provide an experimental plan for their work which will enable planning of activities in relation to other activities. The access includes support on experimental design and statistics, initiation of the experiment, daily feeding and husbandry and sampling. The access also includes advice on sampling, access to laboratories and advice and support on laboratory analysis. The support also includes full access to e-mail, internet, office facilities, computing library and chemical lab facilities. We can assist visiting scientists with accommodation nearby.

Unit of Access

The unit of access is cage.week with a total of 72 units of access available (1 project). A project on the CEL installation will have access to 6 cages (2 groups and 3 replicates) for 12 weeks. CEL cannot be followed live on the internet.