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Scottish Association for Marine Science

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is one of Europe’s leading marine science research organisations and one of the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world. Sited beside Dunstaffnage Castle, in Argyll, Scotland, the institute carries out advanced research in the marine environment, including polar research in the Arctic and Antarctic.

SAMS is a centre for marine research in the fields of marine processes and climate change, renewable energy, the Arctic, marine prosperity and sustainability, and mining impacts. SAMS hosts the National Facility for Scientific Diving and the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa.


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Cod: in search of cold waters. August Linnman

Fish may end up in hot water as climate warms the ocean

The rate at which the world has warmed over the past 50 years and is likely to continue to do so in the future poses problems for life on land and in the ocean. Most species have a defined range of temperatures…
Tiny Japanese skeleton shrimp Caprella mutica, found in concentrations up to 300,000/m2. SAMS

There are no barriers to prevent marine invasive species

Ash dieback, oak processionary moths, waterway minkes and parrakeets in Kew Gardens – there are plenty of species on and even above ground in the UK that didn’t originate in the country. The fifth Annual…
Vomiting since 500-470 BC. Stefano Bolognini

Why it’s safer to eat shellfish in months with a letter ‘R’

As I was growing up, any time my mother suggested buying mussels or cockles for dinner, my gran would pipe up with the old adage that “you should only be eating shellfish when there’s an ‘R’ in the month…
Risky business: Shell’s Kulluk rig had to be evacuated when it couldn’t hack the Arctic. US Coast Guard

It’s time to draw a line in the Arctic ice over oil and gas

I have a great respect for National Geographic. I’m a card-carrying member with an annual subscription, and I appreciate the balance, depth and understanding they bring to revealing the links between the…
Cold water dolphins are in decline in northern Scotland as waters warm. Nick Harewood

Marine life spawns sooner as our oceans warm

Warming oceans are having an impact on the breeding patterns and habitat of marine life, effectively re-arranging the broader marine landscape as species adjust to a changing climate, according to a three-year…
Is “fresh, farm-raised” a modern oxymoron? Natalie Maynor/Flickr

Beef or fish, Madam? Soon you might not have the choice

The amount of aquaculture produce worldwide - including farmed fish and shellfish - has now overtaken global beef production, by 64m tonnes to 57m tonnes. Perhaps more remarkably, we are on course to harvest…
On thin ice? Alan D. Wilson/

All eyes turn to the prize as the Arctic opens for business

Foundation essay: This article on the future of the Arctic by Tavis Potts, Senior Lecturer in Oceans Governance at the Scottish Association for Marine Science, is part of a series marking the launch of…


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