Living Organism Supply

Marine Biological Laboratory
Policy No. J.1.8


Initiated by:Superintendent, Aquatic Resources Department
Approved by:MRC Director, MBL Director/CEO
Date:June, 1995
Distribution:All users of the Marine Resources Center

1.0Policy Statement:
The staff of the Marine Resources Department (ARD) collects approximately 200 species of locally available marine flora and fauna for MBL resident investigators and for shipping world wide. Specimens from ARD are for research purposes only, and not for human consumption. On occasion some collecting areas may not meet Federal or State guidelines for human consumption, however, organisms will be suitable for research purposes.

A catalog listing of organisms and prices is available on the MBL Home Page ( or by phoning the ARD at ext. 7375 or (508) 289-7375.

2.1When ordering allow at least one week from date of order to delivery.
2.2Vertebrate organisms will not be released to MBL investigators without approved MBL Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) protocols. MBL protocol forms are available from the Office of Research Administration, ext. 7670.
2.3All organisms ordered from the ARD become the property of the investigator and must be housed and cared for outside the Marine Resources Center (MRC), unless prior arrangements have been made.

3.0Exotic species
Exotic species are flora and fauna not endemic to S.E. New England waters. Investigators using such species must comply with both federal and state regulations.

3.1Only the MBL Purchasing Department will place orders with vendors outside of the MBL for organisms required by in-house scientific staff.
3.2To comply with federal grant guidelines, the Purchasing Dept. needs approval for all live organism orders. The following procedures have been established:

3.2.1Scientific staff requesting to purchase live organisms from outside venders, must fill out an MBL purchase order form.
3.2.2If the organisms to be ordered do not require an IACUC approved protocol (non vertebrates), deliver the PO to the Superintendent of ARD or the MRC Director, to obtain the necessary signature.
3.2.3If the organisms require an IACUC approved protocol (vertebrates), deliver the PO to the Chairperson of the IACUC or the MRC Director to obtain the necessary signature.

3.3Instruction on proper disposal of shipping water and isolation of species according to MBL regulations is available.
3.4The ARD will receive written notification before any investigator can bring any live exotic species to MBL.

4.0Sea Water Tank Assignments
The ARD will assign limited amounts of tank space for chilled sea water in the Whitman and Loeb buildings, on a first request basis, upon receipt of a completed Tank Assignment Policy and Application Form available from the ARD Office. Water distribution and maximum flow rates are regulated by ARD staff exclusively; individual users are responsible for maintaining uninterruped flow due to occasional sediment clogging.

5.0MRC Tank Assignment
Investigators may contract with the MRC to provide tank rental and husbandry services according to space and availability in the facility. Specialized tanks with specific temperature and photo period control are available. Requisition forms detailing specific needs are available from MRC Systems Operator (MRC 321) (508) 289-7683 or ext. 7683.

6.0Water Quality Laboratory
The Water Quality Laboratory at the MRC conducts daily monitoring of all sea water systems. Individual sea water testing service is available to investigators by calling the MRC Water Quality Laboratory, (508) 289-7458 or ext. 7458. A fee is charged for this service.

7.0Policy Updates
Policy clarification and updates are available from the Aquatic Resources Department.