Carna Research Station

Photo: Marine Innovation Building, Ryan Institute Carna Facility Photo: View from Carna Facility, Connemara, Co. Galway Photo: Dr. Maeve Edwards, Ryan Institute Carna Facility

The Carna Research Station is Ireland’s leading facility for the diversification of marine fish, shellfish and seaweed species.

The Carna Research Station is the Ryan Institute’s base for large scale, exploratory aquatic investigations, and both applied and basic research, on existing and novel species for aquaculture.  All research is conducted in line with current-best-practice and in keeping with internationally recognized standards, quarantine regulations and welfare issues.  The range of species is prioritized to meet industry needs including finfish (e.g. salmon, trout, cod, turbot, wrasse), shellfish (e.g. abalone, sea urchin, and scallop) and seaweeds (Palmaria, Porphyraand Alaria).

Active research projects underway include:

  • the establishment of a cod breeding and broodstock programme for Irish Aquaculture,
  • the development of hatchery protocols for the propagation of seaweed species,
  • the development of novel dietary formulations incorporating seaweed extracts for the salmon farming industry,
  • a breeding programme for Ballan Wrasse to control sea lice infestations
  • a study of intertidal/inshore fish communities in Connemara.


In addition, this site acts as a shore base for many research groups within the Ryan Institute to undertake active research and field training programmes on the West coast of Ireland: several large scale aquatic experimental projects are based here.

Equipment and activities on site include established standard tank rearing systems, recirculation technologies (cold and warm water, research and pilot commercial scale), state-of-the-art live food production facilities, water quality & temperature control and monitoring, and fish health & disease control areas.