In 1971, as a result of reseach conducted by UNESCO, the University of Basrah decided to establish an institute which specialized in the study of marine environment in the Iraqi gulf. Three years later, Dr. Stevenson, a member of UNESCO's Marine Section, visited the area and studied the possibility of establishing such a center in Basra. Simultaneously, a group of researchers in the Department of Biology at the University of Basrah began considering same idea. The multiplicity and diversity of possibilities at the University of Basrah made it possible to establish an independent unit which specialized in marine science research within the University of Basrah and it was dubbed the Marine Science Center (MSC). In 1981, the Center was established and all research on marine science in Iraq has officially became part of it. Since then, the Marine Science Center has become the largest specialized center in the region.