Biological Resources | - CCMAR -

Biological Resources

Live marine organisms are available for experimentation at CCMAR or for other remote studies. CCMAR offers the possibility of working with live marine organisms and carry out research tasks at Experimental Facilities
Researchers can use the rearing capabilities and know-how of our scientific and technicial team. Live marine organisms can be obtained directly from the natural environment through the Ecosystem Access service or from aquaculture rearing.


Users carrying out procedures with live animals must hold an animal experimentation certificate from Felasa and a license from National authorities (DGAV) must be required in advance.

If organisms come from natural environment a licence for collection is also needed in advance.

Taxonomy services using the expertise of our researchers can be provided.

Model Marine Organisms
Model organisms are used to study specific biological processes and diferent research areas, such as genetics, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience.
They are usually chosen because of their easy maintenance and reproduction in a laboratory environment, short reproduction cycles or the ability to generate mutations for studying certain aspects or diseases. CCMAR as the abilitty to mantain aquatic organisms and can share and provide services under request.


Rearing of aquaculture animals
The CCMAR facilities allow for the rearing and provision of animals for experimentation with special emphasis on Senegalese sole (Sole senegalensis), Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax), seahorses (Hippocampus guttulatus and H. hippocampus) and macroalgae.

Foto: Rita Colen

Senegalese sole

The centre has extensive expertise in sole (Solea senegalensis) reproduction and nutrition, namely reproduction induction, sperm cryopreservation and quality, as well as, nutritional physiology, feeding and nutrition of fish larvae and juveniles.. 

Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus and H.hippocampus) are other animals under culture since there is a captive breeding program that allows the study of the two species existing in the Ria Formosa, focusing namely on their dietary requirements.

The breeding in captivity is standardized which allows the use of these species in research experiments in captivity, both on ecology and seahorse nutrition.

The evolution of the local wild populations is currently being monitored and a conservation programme is being developed including the implementation of marine protected areas for seahorses and habitat restoration.

foto: Rita Colen

Gilthead seabream

The centre has extensive expertise in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) reproduction and nutrition, namely reproduction induction, sperm cryopreservation and quality, as well as, nutritional physiology, feeding and nutrition of fish larvae and juveniles.

European seabass
The centre has extensive expertise in European seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) nutrition, namely nutritional physiology, feeding and nutrition of fish juveniles.


Other specimens like the Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), Tilapia (Oreochromis spp), Medaka or japanese rice fish (Oryzias latipes), Betta (Betta splendens), Zebra fish (Danio rerio), Cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis), or Sea Cucumber could be made available for specific purposes.

Betta (ivabalk)


Mummichog (Brian Gratwicke))

Medaka (kamujp)


Zebra Fish (Tohru Murakami)

Sea Cucumber (Mercedes Wanguemert)


Tilapia (Peter Hubbard)

 Organisms collected in the wild

The Centre's location, in the south of Portugal and Europe and close to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, allows the access to biological resources from different coastal and estuarine ecosystems. 
The resources available at the centre allow the collection of organisms from the Atlantic coast of the Algarve (south and southwest Portugal) and nearby estuaries (intertidal, subtidal zones).
The proximity to the Mediterranean Sea makes it also possible to access various organisms that use this habitat as part of their life cycle. (See Access Ecosystems).


Taxonomic Services
Accurate taxonomic identification of invertebrates, fish, marine plants, algae, and macroalgae can be requested.
The centre has a vast expertise in marine science and marine organisms which enables it to offer this high-quality service based on taxonomic microscopy or molecular biology tools.

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