Cod larval culture is currently hampered by high mortalities in the first 2–3 weeks after hatching, often due to infectious diseases. The immune system of cod is not fully competent until 2–3 months after hatching. Conventional vaccination is, therefore, not of value before this time, and the larvae are wholly reliant on non-specific parameters for their defence against infection. A range of substances, generally derived from bacterial, fungal or plant origin, can activate these non-specific parameters. During three hatching seasons, 2001–2003, at the Marine Institute's Experimental Station, Stadur, Grindavik, Iceland, the effects of several immunostimulants on survival and disease resistance of cod larvae and juveniles were examined. Both bathing treatments and administration in the feed were used. One of these substances, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), isolated from the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida (ssp. salmonicida or achromogenes), appeared in some instances to improve survival and have a beneficial effect on disease resistance. Other substances tested had limited effects. The results emphasize the need for further work in this field.