The Federal Republic of Germany uses three fishery research vessels that differ in terms of size and depending on their purpose. They are managed by the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE).
The Thünen Institute operates the vessels in the sea areas used by German fisheries. These include the great depths of the North Atlantic and the icy, stormy waters off the coast of Greenland, as well as the extremely flat bodden (coastal area separated from the larger body of water) areas of the Baltic Sea. Population surveys of fish stocks are conducted regularly, physical and chemical marine data are collected, and environmental changes are assessed.