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The large number of students who were there in the 1960's, together with widespread interest in the marine environment, meant that course activities needed to find new premises and facilities for their operations. The decision was made to establish a laboratory at Tjärnö by the Kosterfjord. Thus, Tjärnö Marine Zoological Station was founded in 1963. During 1970-ies the station changed its name to Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory. Since 2008 the station is a part of Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences (renamed Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Infrastructure in 2016).


The Lovén Centre Tjärnö is located close to the Koster fjord, just fifteen minutes away by boat is the only true oceanic environment in Sweden. The fissure fault in the Kosterfjord is 247 metres deep and reaches all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean. The deep fjord provides oceanic salinity (35‰) in the bottom water, and constant deep-water circulation.

In the depths of the Koster fjord there are animals typical for the oceanic continental slopes and the deep fjords of the Norwegian west coast. For example, different species of sponges and sea-pens, as well as lima mussels and reefs of Lophelia coral.

Other diverse habitats close-by include exposed rocky shores, narrow sounds with strong currents, shallow areas with sand and/or silt bottoms often supporting beds of eelgrass. The Koster archipelago is also home to a large population of harbour seals. About 6 000 marine species are found in the Koster area, of which more than 200 are not existing elsewhere in Swedish waters.


Kosterhavet Marine National Park, the first national park in Sweden with a marine focus, was inaugurated in 2009. One of the objects is to promote research and education regarding conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystems.

How to get there


About education, research and facilities at the Lovén Centre


The Lovén Centre Tjärnö
Visiting address: Hättebäcksvägen 7, Tjärnö, Strömstad
Postal address: SE-452 96 Strömstad, Sweden
Phone: 46 31 786 96 00

Page Manager: Martin Larsvik|Last update: 4/25/2018

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