Marinarium de Concarneau
Open every day from March to December
Welcome to the oldest marine station still in operation in the world, founded in 1859 by Victor Coste, professor at the Collège de France. His dream? To imitate nature by breeding marine animals. More than a century and a half later, the idea is still relevant!
Don't be surprised to see this large, severe-looking building right next to Concarneau marina... Here on the southern coast of Finistère, just a stone's throw from the Glénan archipelago and a unique set of marine estuaries, the marine biology station enjoys an exceptional location. The fishing port alone is a remarkable resource, due to the diversity of the areas exploited and the techniques used.
In the area dedicated to the general public, where temporary exhibitions are regularly held, it is not unusual to come across a researcher, as the laboratories are not far away. The motto of the Marinarium is: to know and understand the sea, in order to better respect it. Alongside the scientists, the educational team has selected key aspects of marine life, illustrated with various media. Among the themes developed, you will discover the importance of the oceans and their extraordinary biodiversity: "The scientific activity of the station", "Plankton or living free in the ocean", "The coastline, an immense wealth", "Managing the sea", "The Glénan: an atoll in the Atlantic". Above all, don't miss the educational room, where activities are regularly held. A nursery with juvenile lobsters and jellyfish reminds us how difficult it is to be born and grow up in the ocean!
Aquariums and large tank
Another highlight of the tour is the aquariums and the large 120,000 litre tank. What do they house? Local flora and fauna, such as sea bass, pollack, gilthead bream and other crustaceans and molluscs... And then, if you feel like it, go to the coast with a Marinarium guide on an organised tour. At low tide, the incredible diversity of species and their way of life will be revealed to you. To better preserve them, learn the good habits of the fisherman on foot.
Men at sea
The station is home to around fifty researchers, technicians, engineers and doctoral students whom you may meet during your visit. A small world that evolves in 2,700 m2 on three levels. In addition, there are 1,500 m2 of historical fish tanks, used for storage and open water experiments on marine organisms, and 1,800 m2 of laboratories and annexes.
Gallery of scientists
From Pouchet, who identified Dinophysis in the 1880s (a micro-alga responsible for the production of toxins that contaminate molluscs, among other things), to Roche's major discovery in 1952 - the active thyroid hormone, T3 (tri-iodothyronine) - and Chabry, who laid the foundations of modern embryology and developed the first micro-manipulation instruments. A whole host of renowned researchers have left their mark in Concarneau. Let yourself be immersed in the scientific adventure of the oceans: the very first experiments in marine aquaculture, the identification of numerous organisms from plankton to fish, the behaviour of fish or the discovery of molecules of therapeutic interest. Come and get to know the world of the sea...
How to find us
Place de la Croix
Place de la Croix