Animal Care and Use

Duke University has a policy and a program for the care and use of vertebrate animals in teaching and research. No fish or other vertebrate may be held in a tank for more than 12 hours or subjected to any experimental procedure at any time without an approved protocol. The policy applies to all students and visiting investigators as well as resident faculty and graduate students. If a student or visitor wants to hold or use fish for teaching or research then the person should obtain a separate approved protocol or have their animal use added to an existing protocol. In addition to the protocol, animals must be housed in an approved facility. Approved facilities for holding or experimentation on vertebrates (fish and turtles) are monitored by the DUML Compliance Officer, Tom Schultz, (252) 504-7641; tom.schultz@duke.edu), who must be consulted before vertebrates (fish and turtles) are housed in these facilities.

The Duke Marine Laboratory has an Animal Care and Use Committee that may be consulted to help in obtaining necessary protocols. Obtaining protocols usually takes one or two months. Any vertebrate being used for teaching or research which is found on Duke University property must be properly identified (see the compliance officer) or it will be released immediately, per Duke University policy. At the present time, University rules do not require a protocol for invertebrates but Animal Housing Identification Tags are required (available in approved facilities or from the compliance officer). Although protocols are not required, the Duke Marine Laboratory expects an appropriate level of care be given to invertebrates and we encourage staff and students to become involved in the proper care of all living organisms. Fish tanks kept by individuals for purely esthetic reasons are not covered by the policy. Please check Duke’s OESO website for details: https://www.safety.duke.edu/laboratory-safety/animal-research

Collecting Gear

Most of this equipment is housed in a locker by the gas tank room.  Please wash all collecting gear in fresh water before returning it to the locker.  If a large class needs collecting equipment, it would be a good idea to check with the Marine Operations Office personnel the day before. One person will be assigned by the instructor to be responsible for seeing that all items are returned.



  1. Police, Fire, Rescue Squad
  • Dial  911, then call Facilities Maintenance Division at ext 252-504-7515 or 252-504-7517


  1. Physical Plant
  • 6 AM-6 PM: Call Facilities Maintenance Division (FMD) at ext 7515 or ext 7517
  • pager 808-1710.  Outside of standard business hours, call Facilities Maintenance Division (FMD) at 252-504-7521.


  1. Security
  • During standard business hours: Dial 252-504-7655 or 252-504-7521
  • Evenings, weekends or holidays call (252) 504-7672 or Call Facilities Maintenance Division (FMD) ext 7521 or 504-7521


Undergraduates are prohibited from keeping pets of any kind on the island.


All students, regardless of fee status, are required to participate in the registration process for admissions verification (i.e., if we don’t see you, you will be administratively withdrawn).  All vehicles must be registered.  All computers must be registered or the Duke Marine Lab’s Office of Information Technology will disallow privileges.



 The Duke Marine Lab is a smoke-free environment.  No smoking will be allowed in any enclosed areas.  This policy will be enforced.