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Vigo university ECIMAT

Installation of a Marine Science Station and all attempts fail, the supply of Toralla, SA to settle on the island, was immediately accepted by it and in June 2003 signed an agreement with Toralla, SA and appointed the then Vice Chancellor of Research Mr Salustiano Mato of the Church and the achievement of major project management of the Marine Science Station to architect designed Vigo D. Xosé Carlos Rodriguez Otero and identifies the three phases and will become operational as soon as the Directorate General of Coasts concession granted to the University of Vigo from 24 400 m2 of surface for the development of this ambitious project.

Phase 1.- Completing the first tranche of 250-meter breakwater that will protect the first building and will be fully paid (360,000 euros) per Toralla, Corp.

Phase 2.- Construction of the Marine Science Station, module 1, pier (dock and pier) auxiliary space, regeneration and throwing overboard of 4880 m2 of coastal edge (old landfill) and finally the second tranche of breakwater.

Phase 3.- Marine Science Station, Module 2, which is attached by a covered walkway to the current Module 1. Phase 3 has yet to be done once already completed Phases 1 and 2.

The features and objectives of the University of Vigo wanted to get, are contained in the Basic Project "Campus Marino Island Toralla submitted to the Ministry of Environment to obtain awards and are listed below that taken literally Project:

(...) The historical solution of researchers from the campus of Vigo requires a course of action aimed at achieving the following objectives which this project tries to materialize:

  • Availability of berthing for boats of average (up to 25 m), to enable them to embark and disembark the aircraft equipment and samples as well as a ramp to launch the inflatable boats available to our fleet.
  • Storage of materials used in ships, with sea access, crane system for loading and unloading of equipment and management, especially for heavy and bulky equipment, and washing and cleaning system with fresh water pressure .(...)

(...) To achieve the said purpose, it is absolutely imperative that all facilities of the station are situated not only on the coast, but to walk the sea itself, specifically on the island of Toralla, and within it, precisely in the area of maritime-terrestrial public domain, as the only viable space to put the station (...) and so that researchers can proceed to the immediate treatment of marine samples for study and conservation in a where clean, set-up and store the instruments come from the sea (cranes, dredges, diving equipment, current meters, probes, etc.) and that is the point of departure and arrival of vessels.

(...) This location in the Isle of Toralla avoids the drawbacks of noise and environmental pollution typical of coastal belt of densely populated river. Thus, the benefits of research in an area near the continental shelf to join do so in an area away from road traffic, the influx and other activities of the coastal belt. In sum, the insular area is ideal to meet the need of such facilities located in close proximity to the coast, but not affected by vibration and noise (high activity away from urban areas), in which the experiments - especially shellfish crops - are not affected by situations and conditions that modify the outcome of the investigation (...)




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The Marine Science Station (ECIMAT) is a Marine Research Center belonging to the Vigo University opened in June 2006 and headed since then by D. Ricardo Beiras García-Sabell, researcher and professor of marine ecology at the Vigo University.
It features a central building where the general facilities of the Centre, room treatment and pumping of seawater, computer laboratories to support research, dive locker. And five little wet labs modular buildings shelter nine research groups belonging to the Vigo University.

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Module 1 is a building of 1,350 m2 on two floors, in conventional laboratories were installed above and common services, while on the ground floor are installed wet labs, growing pools, cold rooms and spaces for boats, materials and equipment necessary for research activities.

The ECIMAT has in the east of the island, a renovated and expanded spring to raise and lower small boats available, as well as a jetty berth with a minimum depth at low tide skewed by five feet.

On the occasion of Science Week from 12 to 16 November 2007 the ECIMAT organized an open day to the general public in order to raise awareness of the station and in particular the wealth of the coastal ecosystems of the island of Toralla and to encourage scientific curiosity and respect for the natural environment, at the same time convey the need for sustainable exploitation of fish and shellfish resources of the Vigo Vigo Estuary and respect for the habitats essential to the survival of these resources and regulations aimed at protection. It was the anniversary of the Science Week to spread among all social sectors in the area of marine research conducted by the Vigo University.

In November 2008, on the occasion of Science Week 2008, we invited 250 students from six schools in Vigo and counties to meet ECIMAT activities, including visits to the shore.
In these visits to the shore, the students learned about adaptations characteristics of this medium so hostile, possessing its inhabitants and also collected algae "arribazón" and shells to work after in the "obradoiro mariño."

In November 2009, 260 students from different schools participated in a visit to the ECIMAT; it developed for them the following program:

  • Views of rocky and sandy coastline of Toralla.
  • Obradoiro mariño.
  • Exposure of educational posters.
  • Exposure of marine animals and algae live.
  • Audiovisual "Barnacles on the border of the sea."
From the 11th of October to the 3rd of November, 2011 ECIMAT advises the schools of the possibility of visiting their installations in the island from 10 to 14 hours with a similar program to that of 2009, visiting the rocky areas at low tide and the island’s beaches that are rich with marine organisms and animals in their natural habitat, always accompanied by a college professor and four monitors from ECIMAT. Nearly 500 students from 10 schools in the Vigo area have since visited the island.

ECIMAT every year authorises the seafood association of Vigo to present the fisherman’s samples on the docking jetty in order to show that they respect the daily quota of their catch allowing the Galician regional government to control the exploitation of the seafood industry.   

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The ECIMAT is open to technical visits of different bodies of the University itself, other centers and even other countries who come to see the facilities, exemplary in its construction and the environment of calm, tranquillity and absence of noise in their working researchers.

For full details and number of researchers, in constant turnover in the ECIMAT activities can be linked to the website