The Marine Biological Association

Promoting marine scientific excellence and representing the marine biological community since 1884

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Media page

The Marine Biological Association produces original, world-class research into life in the sea, and helps journalists with questions on marine biological research and marine life in general. Latest news.

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Speak to an expert

The MBA is able to draw on its large membership for expert comment on a range of marine issues. In addition, MBA staff based in Plymouth have expertise in a number of areas including:

  • Ocean acidification
  • Non-native species
  • Basking sharks, fish ecology and environmental change
  • Pollution
  • Climate change, biodiversity
  • Marine policy
  • Marine conservation and marine protected areas
  • Education and Ocean Literacy
  • Jellyfish and plankton blooms
  • Marine Data Archive

In the first instance, please contact the Communications Officer Tel: +44(0)1752 426239 or +44(0)7876 831267.

Recent media releases

For the most up-to-date information, see Latest news on the Home page.


A bottom trailer bottle like the one found on Amrum IslandPress release: Adrift for over 100 years – the world’s oldest message in a bottle

A postcard returned to the Plymouth Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest message in a bottle ever found! Published 18 April 2016


Image-5_Blue-shark-on-longline-Atlantic_1_Photo-MBA-280x300Press release: Shark hotspots ‘tracked’ by fishing vessels

An international team of researchers from the UK, Portugal, Spain and U.S.A. tracked more than 100 sharks from six different species by satellite across the entire North Atlantic, one of the most heavily exploited oceans. Concurrent with the shark tracking, the scientists tracked 186 Spanish and Portuguese longline fishing vessels using GPS to quantify the overlap in space and time. Published 25 January 2016

Amongst their many qualities, kelp forests are repositories of biodiversity. Image: Dan Smale/MBA

Press release: Scientists set to use ‘free DNA’ to assess marine biodiversity

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is part of two different £1.2m Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) projects to find out how effective the tools developed around environmental DNA (eDNA) will be at telling us what organisms – from plankton to whales – are present in an area, and how ecosystems work.


Press Release: A new hope in the battle against Varroa-associated honey bee colony collapse

Scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) have used new methods of DNA sequencing to reveal a unique viral landscape in honey bee colonies that may provide a clue to the future management of these important pollinators. Published 27 October 2015

ART0224-Cpel-0Si-48hrPress Release: Plymouth marine biologists awarded £3million for studies of plankton ‘nerve impulses’

Marine biologists working at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) laboratory in Plymouth have been awarded funds totalling almost £3 million to study how tiny algae in the sea sense and respond to their environment using mechanisms that are very similar to sophisticated nerve activity in animals and humans. Please see the press release for more information.

Published 29 July 2015

“The decline in sharks, skates and rays is truly alarming and a global phenomenon" Image: James Lea

“The decline in sharks, skates and rays is truly alarming and a global phenomenon” Image: James Lea

Press release: Scientists meet to halt shark and ray declines

This week, international experts will gather in Plymouth for the annual conference of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) hosted by the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) and Plymouth University, to discuss ways of using new science and technology to help sustainably manage shark, skate and ray populations. Read the press release for more information.

Published 24 July 2015



still_MASMO (2)Press Release: Robot vehicles launched from Plymouth this morning on fish tracking mission

Three marine ‘robot’ vehicles have been launched from Plymouth today to undertake a fish tracking mission in and around new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). For more information:

Published 3 November 2014


Press Release: Sustained observations of the sea — how the past holds the key to the future

Sustained observations of the sea by the Marine Biological Association of the UK highlight massive changes across UK marine systems.

Published 24 August 2014



Press Release: The Ocean Sampling Day

On June 21, 2014, a worldwide sampling campaign of microbial life within marine surface water was performed within the framework of Micro B3’s Ocean Sampling Day (OSD).

Published 23 June 2014


juvenile-scallop-on-a-healthy-live-maerl-bed-of-Falmouth-photo-by-J-hall-Spencer Press Release: North Atlantic coastal ecosystems at threat
Rising temperatures, acidified seawater and increased storminess are driving profound changes in the marine ecosystems of the North Atlantic according to a new report.
Published 19 June 2014



Asian_shore-crab_Glamorgan_c_Martin_Burke_dorsal-225x300Press Release: First records of the Asian shore crab 
Photographs of an unusual crab have been confirmed as the first mainland GB record of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus.
Published 6 June 2014




Press Release: New Honorary Fellowships
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco are amongst new Honorary Fellows appointed by the Marine Biological Association, to mark and celebrate the award of a Royal Charter.
Published 12 March 2014



20130912_1148391-225x300Press Release: Marine biology comes of age – The Royal Charter
The patron of the Marine Biological Association, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, will join a host of distinguished guests to celebrate the marine environment – and the importance of understanding it – at a Royal Charter reception at the Fishmongers’ Hall in London..
Published 3 March 2014.



Sediment profile

Press Release: Are oil-degrading microbes turned on by worms?
Marine worms are the latest ally in the battle against oil pollution of the marine environment. The Marine Biological Association is a partner in a new European funded consortium, developing novel biotechnological ways of tackling oil spills.
Published 11 November 2013



MBA logo

Press Release: The Marine Biological Association to establish a legacy-funded Fellowship
The world-famous Marine Biological Association of the UK has been left a substantial legacy by Professor Anne Warner, FRS, an eminent scientist who died in 2012. The MBA will take this opportunity to establish an endowed Warner Fellowship to open a new research area in cell and molecular biology of marine organisms. See further information and how to apply for the Fellowship.
Published 19 September 2013


Albatross in flight

Press Release: albatrosses find distant prey
Wandering albatrosses employ the best possible search pattern to find food in
the vast expanses of the Southern Ocean. Image: Paul Tixier.
Visit the Behavioural Ecology Laboratory web pages for further information.
Published 28 August 2013


Press release: MBA Royal Charter
Plymouth’s Marine Biological Association (MBA) which was first established more than a century ago has been granted a Royal Charter. The MBA has been recognised for its long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology. The Royal Charter was approved by the Privy Council at the Court at Buckingham Palace last month. Image: Keith Hiscock
Published 24 June 2013


Press release: BioBlitz 2013
Wildlife searches bring together experts and the public. Image: MBA
Published May 2012



Press release: shark refuge
Groups of female sharks hide away to avoid unwanted sexual attention
from males, research has shown. Image: Keith Hiscock
Published 2 Nov 2012



Press release: bee mite virus
Researchers in Hawaii and the UK report that the parasitic ‘Varroa’ mite has caused the Deformed Wing Virus (DWV)
to proliferate in honey bee colonies. Image: R. Lamoureux (photothèque CNRS)
Published 7 June 2012



Press release: Marinexus research
Marinexus, a major 4-year, €5 million project is helping marine scientists
in Devon and Brittany to work with communities to increase our
understanding of the ecosystems of the Western English Channel. Image: James Fishwick
Published 24 May 2012


Communications Office

Telephone: +44(0)1752 633244

If you are looking for images of marine life, please contact the Communications Officer.  Images of marine life
will be available to download from this page soon.

Background (notes for editors)

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is a professional body for marine scientists with around 1200 members world-wide. Since 1884 the MBA has established itself as a leading marine biological research organization – contributing to the work of several Nobel Laureates and over 170 Fellows of the Royal Society.