The Institute of Fish Resources, IFR - Varna, at the Agricultural Academy (SAA), was established in 1932 as a Marine Biological Station with an Aquarium, and over the years has passed through a different departmental affiliation (current decree № 373 / 29.12.2006).
The main activities of IFR - Varna include scientific and applied services, fish stocks studies in the Black Sea and monitoring of the dynamics and structure of the food base of industrial marine fish species.
In long-term aspect IFR - Varna work covers:
- Biodiversity in the Black Sea and anthropogenic and climatic factors impact on marine ecosystems;
- Research on economically valuable fish and shellfish marine resources, marine aquaculture.
- The studies cover all functional groups of the marine food chain - phyto- and zooplankton, bacterio- and ichthyoplankton, zoo- and phytobenthos, nekton;
- The population dynamics of many economically valuable species of fish are traced - turbot, sprat, anchovy, whiting, horse mackerel, mullet fish, etc .;
- Molecular taxonomic research of fish and non-fish resources is performed;
- Marine mammals are studied - quantities, migrations, reproduction and diseases of dolphins;
- New technologies for mussel and fish farming are being created;
- Recently, IFR - Varna has been involved in the implementation of the National Data Collection Program in the field of fisheries and aquaculture - namely, determining the stock of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) through bottom trawl surveys (2014 - 2022), surveys of rapana landings (2018 - 2022), as well as determination of by-catches of marine organisms in some major types of fishing operations in the Bulgarian waters of the Black Sea (2017 - 2022);
- Many of the current studies of IFR-Varna are focused on the condition of economically valuable mollusks species - black mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), rapana (Rapana venosa) and sand mussels.
The educational activity of IFR - Varna includes student internships at Sofia University, Thracian University, Plovdiv University and Technical University - Varna, and through the established Youth Consultative - Information Center for Aquarists (contact office of В.ЕN.A - Thessaloniki, Greece) conduct trainings and courses in the field of fisheries and aquaculture.