After Memorial University moved out of the Parade Street campus, then Newfoundland Premier Joey Smallwood opened the College of Fisheries, Navigation, Marine Engineering and Electronics there in 1964. Two decades later the ‘The Fisheries College,’ as it was then known colloquially, moved to a new building on Ridge Road and was renamed the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology.
Following a review of the Marine Institute and the community college system in 1992, the provincial government merged the institute with Memorial University. The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, as is was named, offered degree programs at the undergraduate and masters levels, as well as diploma programs, short-term training and industry research.
The institute has three primary structures: the School of Fisheries, the School of Maritime Studies, and the School of Ocean Technology. In addition to the St. John’s campus, satellite facilities include ships of up to 130 feet (40 m) in length, training facilities at pier 25 in St. John's, Offshore Safety and Survival Centre's training centre in Foxtrap, and the Safety and Emergency Response Training Centre in Stephenville.