The Department is composed by four groups or Sections:
The DOP/UAç has a strong emphasis in academics, through the participation of undergraduate research students (total of 47, until October 1997) and graduate students (total of 13, until October 1997) in research projects, as part of their academic requirements.
Five Nucleus are also operating:
Each nucleus is leaded by a researcher or a technician at the Department.
A technician or researcher of the Department is responsible for each laboratory.
The Department has also a small ichthyological reference collection of preserved specimens
The Department has at its service two vessels: