The Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies serves as a support base for a wide range of marine biology and living marine resource research projects. Many of the projects deal with the interactions between man and the sea; man's influence on living marine communities, human exploitation of living marine resources, and the influence of the marine environment on man. A large part of the research is inter- and multi-disciplinary, including such areas as medical and physiological research, geology and geomorphology, geography, economics, history, archeology, and art.
All research projects include field and/or laboratory work on pelagic and/or coastal marine (or aquatic) systems, mainly in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Red Sea and Lake Kinneret. These projects include research on ecology, behavior, biogeography, physiology, and biomedical topics. The taxa studied include algae, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, marine mammals, and humans. The research on marine resource use includes coastal ecology and management, marine pollution impacts, the impacts of climate change and global warming on marine communities, marine conservation, marine monitoring, fisheries and fishery management, aquaculture, artificial reefs, the human use of biota in ancient times, invasive marine species, venomous marine animals, a census of marine mammals in Israeli coastal waters and interactions between these mammals and man; and the biology and ecology of algae, sponges, corals, medusae, various shellfish, lobsters, cartilaginous and bony fish, marine turtles, dolphins, and whales.