The Institute of Marine Resources (IMR) provides scientific and technical skills, and capacity-building, in aquaculture, marine resource assessments, marine surveying, coral reef monitoring/ database maintenance, and socio-economic analysis for fisheries and aquaculture. The focus of IMRís work is externally-funded research and consultancies on the regionís marine environment and its resources. Current activities centre on aquaculture, on coral reef monitoring, and on marine biodiversity assessment. The Institute coordinates the South-West Pacific node of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). The aquaculture activities of IMR encompass freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium) culture, tilapia fish Oreochromis, and a variety of other potential aquaculture species. IMR coordinates 2 undergraduate courses in Fiji, one on Tropical Marine Environments and one on Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture, for international students enrolling through Macquarie University in Australia and the University of Wisconsin, USA.
IMR was re-located to Solomon Islands in 1995 but since 2000 has returned to Fiji. Here it is able to work closely with USP's Division of Marine Studies, supplementing their teaching, collaborating on some projects, and thus helping to achieve critical mass of USP staff engaged in marine topics such as aquaculture. IMR is currently located within and adjacent to the Marine Studies Centre at the Lower Campus of the University of the South Pacificís Laucala Campus.
New facilities on the lower Laucala Campus, provided by the Japanese Government in 1998, provide an excellent opportunity for USP staff to undertake research on a wide range of marine-related topics relevant to the South Pacific. With support facilities for field work in the Suva Lagoon and on the reef, and with a vessel to provide transport to other localities within a radius of about 80 nautical miles, eg. to Makogai Island, the opportunities for ecological research are considerable. A small flow-through seawater laboratory supplied with lagoon water also provides opportunities for aquarium-based research and for small aquaculture projects. A DNA/RNA PCR laboratory enables research using genetic techniques, for example to screen live aquatic-animal imports like shrimp for known viral diseases. IMR also has capabilities in the analysis of fish otoliths.