The central task of the team is practical research into the problems that arise in the daily lives of seafarers and port workers. This includes above all the optimisation of medical equipment on ships, hazard analyses and disease prevention on board and the challenges of ship hygiene. The knowledge gained through research serves to optimise health protection and the development of seafarers' working and living conditions and is therefore always communicated at various levels. For example, team members work in various bodies and committees, develop national regulations and standards in consultation with the regional representatives of the North German Cooperation and present these results at training events and international congresses.


Our service function includes the implementation and continuous further development of medical refresher courses for ship's officers, medical advice to authorities, offices and ship-equipping pharmacies as well as the review of shipbuilding plans. We also provide a voting member for the Federal Ministry of Transport's committee on medical equipment in maritime shipping.

The institute has the world's largest reference documentation for maritime medical literature (currently over 36,000 articles). Books and journal articles on maritime medical topics are collected and catalogued in a documentation programme.

The focal points include all aspects of life and work on board - whether from a medical, ergonomic, psychological or social point of view. Issues of hygiene on board (especially hygiene of the drinking water supply) as well as rescue equipment, its development and application and increasingly tourism and cruise medicine also play an important role in the collection. New topics are constantly and flexibly taken up.The documentation can be used by any citizen. However, it is not possible to borrow items. Before a visit, we ask you make an appointment using the contact option provided.