IMBRIW is the leading public research institution in Greece, with a key role in the Mediterranean region and the EU, spearheading fisheries and inland water research.

The mission of IMBRIW is (a) to support the conservation and management of aquatic biological resources, habitats and ecosystems; (b) to provide scientific guidance and services to national, Mediterranean, EU and other International bodies on environmental conservation and management; and (c) to sensitize the public at large on issues related to the conservation of aquatic biological resources, habitats and ecosystems.

The mission of IMBRIW is accomplished through (a) carrying out multidisciplinary and integrated field, laboratory and experimental research, both basic and applied investigations;  (b) monitoring and scientific assessments and predictions of the status of fish and shellfish stocks in Greek waters; (c) ecological quality assessments and monitoring of inland waters; (d) providing advice for the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources in Greek and Mediterranean waters; (e) undertaking specific pilot studies, developing new tools and designing management plans on specific issues for national, Mediterranean and EU institutional bodies and (f) disseminating information and knowledge on major achievements through publications and a variety of organized events. To this end, IMBRIW closely co-operates with the other two Institutes of HCMR.

IMBRIW’s geographical scope of activities extends to most European countries, the Middle East and northern Africa.

The main goals of IMBRIW are the production of knowledge related to structural and functional aspects of inland aquatic ecosystems and the high trophic level components (including fisheries) of marine ecosystems, and the application of this knowledge for integrated river basin and coastal zone management, ecosystem approach to fisheries and biodiversity conservation. A key element is the development and application of state-of-the-art tools for ecological monitoring, weather forecasting, hydrometeorological, water quality and ecological modeling.

Outline of IMBRIW research (see Fig. 1)

  • Biology, ecology and life-history of aquatic organisms and fisheries resources (i.e. demersal organisms, small and medium pelagics, large pelagics, marine cetaceans and reptiles, freshwater organisms: age, growth, reproduction, population dynamics, mortality, feeding, spatiotemporal distribution, abundance, behavior, migrations, acoustics, tagging)
  • Early  life history (taxonomic identification, age, growth, feeding, mortality,  dispersal, abundance-daily egg production, diversity)
  • Biodiversity conservation and environmental restoration (taxonomy, distribution, abundance, biology and ecology of freshwater organisms, genetic structure of fish, conservation of endemic freshwater fish, habitat restoration, marine and freshwater alien species and their interaction with native ones)
  • Ecological quality assessments and monitoring (monitoring and assessment of ecological status of surface waters according to the Water Framework Directive provisions, development of river typology schemes, establishment of reference conditions, selection of metrics for assessing ecological degradation, definition of the metric scale to assess deviation from reference conditions)
  • Integrated river basin management (integrated water resources management at the catchment scale employing ecological quality assessments, numerical modeling to simulate processes driving hydrology and water quality and to produce management scenarios, study of ‘hot moments’, i.e. droughts and floods, and their effects on aquatic communities, predictability of water cycle, through studying land-surface and coastal water processes and optimal integration of models with observational data)
  • Fisheries ecology and Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (fisheries-aquaculture-environment interactions, adult/juvenile spatiotemporal bathymetric distribution, geographic distribution, conservation of non-fisheries resources, integrated coastal zone management including design and management of artificial reefs and marine protected areas, ecological modeling and simulations of fisheries exploitation scenarios in an ecosystem context, monitoring through the Marine Strategy Framework Directive)
  • Fisheries dynamics and capture (monitoring through the EU Data Collection Framework, fleet dynamics, landings, stock assessments, new fisheries resources, small-scale and trawl gear selectivity, discards, VMS monitoring, socio-economics, development of management plans)
  • Modeling and assessment (various age-based and global production models, time series models, habitat suitability models, Individual Based Models – IBM, Ecopath-w-Ecosim, numerical weather prediction models, hydro-meteorological models, statistical evaluation of weather forecasts)
  • Database and GIS Support Unit.


Fig. 1. IMBRIW research structural scheme.Research groups (blue), large Framework programs (yellow) and support units (dark blue). Orange indicates regional units.

IMBRIW provides services to the following agencies:
(a) General Secretariat of Research and Technology
(b) Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food
(c) Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change
(d) Ministry of Tourism
(d) European Commission
(e) International Management Bodies and Committees (EFARO, EC STECF, CIAC, GFCM, FAO-EASTMED, ICCAT, NAFO, ICES, UNEP MAP RAC/SPA, EEAJRC etc)
(f) Municipalities, prefectures and regions
(g) Management Agencies of Protected Areas and national parks in Greece
(h) Mariculture Business Innovation Center, Croatia
(i) NGOs and
(k) Fishers’ and farmers’ associations.

For further details on the background, the structure and the vision of IMBRIW please refer to our ‘business plan’ report produced in November 2013:

Scientific and Management Plan