In 1988 a 560 m2 mariculture laboratory was built in the vicinity of a large landbased salmon farm, Iceland Salmon Ltd., located 7 km west of Grindavik. The company supplies filtered seawater to the laboratory. A staff of four people was hired, director, one biologist and two culturists. In the year 2002 an additional 790 m2 building was built and an agreement made with Iceland Salmon Ltd. on the delivery of warm water to the laboratory.

The greatest emphasis has been put on studying the farming potential of the four following species, halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus), cod (Gadus morhua), turbot (Scopthalmus maximus) and abalone (Haliotis rufescens).

Several other experiments have been carried out in the laboratory with species such as, catfish (Anarhichas lupus), spotted catfish (Anarhichas minor), lemon sole (Microstomus kitt), Greenland halibut (Reinhardtius hippoglossoides), haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), salmon (Salmo salar), seithe (Pollachius virens), lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus), butterfish (Pholis gunnellus), Iceland scallop (Chlamys islandica), green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis), Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) and Japanese abalone, Ezo awabi (Haliotus discus hannai). MRI has also participated in several aquaculture projects outside the institute, frequently in cooperation with private companies.