A Lagrangian tool for simulating ichthyoplankton dynamics

About Ichthyop

Ichthyop is a free Java tool designed to study the effects of physical and biological factors on ichthyoplankton dynamics.

It incorporates the most important processes involved in fish early life: spawning, movement, growth, mortality and recruitment. The tool uses as input time series of velocity, temperature and salinity fields archived from ROMS, MARS, NEMO or SYMPHONIE oceanic models (either files or OpenDAP).

The tool offers two running modes. The first one provides a user-friendly GUI for setting-up and running the simulation and visualizing the transport of virtual eggs and larvae, either creating animated GIF or exporting the trajectories to KMZ format (Google Earth). The second one is a batch mode that gives full power to computation. Both modes produce NetCDF output files that store information about the simulated dynamics of individuals (time, longitude, latitude, depth, length, etc.).

About this website

The website gathers together all the releases, the documentation related to the tool, some answers to frequently asked questions, a forum for getting some help or discussing some problems. You need to register to be able to download Ichythyop and post on the forum. This website aims to be a platform for the growing user community to share some views and foster discussions on Ichthyop between users and developpers.


For downloading binaries, the last version of the source code or some R routines for plotting trajectories or computing the numbers of individuals transported from pre-defined release (spawning) areas to pre-defined destination (recruitment) areas, go to the download page.

Get some help

For getting some technical assistance or submitting a bug, post on the forum.


To cite Ichthyop in a publication, please refer to Lett et al., 2008

For a list of the scientific articles involving Ichthyop, have a look at the publications.

Contact us

If you have any question about Ichthyop, first check the FAQ, then feel free to post on the forum or contact us.


Releases 1.0 and 1.1 of this tool have been principally developed by Christian Mullon and Philippe Verley. Funding was from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Releases 2.0, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.0b are part of PREVIMER project. These releases benefited from a collaboration between people from the Laboratoire de Physique des Océans (LPO), from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and Ifremer. We are grateful to PREVIMER for the financial support.

Releases 3.1 and 3.2 release has been developed in the Exploited Marine Ecosystem unit (UMR EME), and funded by IRD.