Wageningen Marine Research was founded in 2006 after the decision to unite the knowledge of Wageningen University & Research and TNO in the marine ecology field. The intended effect was 'a one-stop shop for marine ecology research in the Netherlands and strong international positioning of our knowledge.'
The institute, which went by the name of IMARES until September 2016, is composed of:
- Dutch Institute for Fisheries Research (RIVO) located in IJmuiden and Yerseke
- The research group Wad and Sea of Wageningen Environmental Research on the island of Texel
- The department Ecological Risks of TNO in Den Helder.
Since its foundation, the organisation has grown from 135 employees at the end of 2006 to 180 employees in 2019. In this period, it has achieved a duplication of turnover and publications. Wageningen Marine Research is internationally recognised in the professional field and leading in several topics.