Marine Scotland is the Marine Management Organisation for Scotland. It is a multi-faceted organisation of 700 staff operating through 27 sites across Scotland. Marine Scotland operates 2 planes and 5 ships which undertake a combination of fisheries protection duties and scientific research and monitoring. 

Marine Scotland Science is the scientific division of Marine Scotland. The main science facilities are at the Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen and the Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory in Pitlochry. Although the Marine Laboratory has had a strong focus on fisheries (demersal, pelagic and shellfisheries), there has always been an environmental component to the science programme. Both environmental and aquaculture science have become a significant area of research in the last 30 years. Marine Scotland Science (MSS) provides scientific and technical advice on marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and the environment to support policy and regulatory responsibilities on behalf of the Scottish Government.

The ASSEMBLE Plus services offered by MSS are the Ellis Aquarium (EA) and the Fish Behavior Unit (FBU). MSS is also one of the partners of ASSEMBLE Plus. EA facility is a bio-secure facility for animals with a containment level that allows working on any exotic host/pathogen species. The FBU and EA support several research areas: fish and shellfish infectology, fish vaccinology, treatment and prophylaxis for fish diseases and transmission studies through the presence of scientists with expertise in bacteriology, virology, parasitology, pathology, molecular biology or biotechnology.


Experimental facilities

  • Aquaria and Tanks  (On-site service)
    • High level biosecurity containment aquaria, disease challenge (Ellis Aquarium)
      • 3 independent units that can house any combination of large (1,000 L) or small (350 L) tanks
      • Each room/system can be independently run on seawater and temperature-controlled (5–25 °C), feed regime, photoperiod (dawn and dusk cycles, light intensity and day length
      • Post-mortem area/room
      • Surgical procedure areas
    • Fish behaviour unit (FBU)
      • Housing a variety of marine species in natural seawater maintained in a recirculation system of ca. 400m3. Seawater is double-filtered and passed through UV prior to entering the system. The recirculation system comprises biological filtration, pressure sand filtration, fluid sand bed filters, UV, Ozone, and cooling.
      • Available tanks are in different rooms/areas: Annular tank (10m diameter) has a gantry rotating around it, made of concrete for acoustic properties, to be used for e.g., swimming energetics, marine renewables, sound/lighting experiments. The other tanks (one 12x3m, several 7x3m) can be temperature controlled
      • FBU has observation rooms for monitoring experiments and recording
      • Post-mortem area/room
      • Surgical procedure areas
      • For more information on FBU see its web-page.


Victoria Road 375
United Kingdom

Liaison officer: Ben Williamson ( ), cc to: 

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