Using on-line High-Resolution Aerosol Mass Spectrometry, we report submicron organic marine aerosol plume concentrations peaking at 3.8 mu g m(-3). These concentrations are far greater than previously determined by off-line techniques and can exceed typical terrestrial concentrations of organic aerosol. The organic mass comprised 77% of the total submicron non-refractory mass and such plumes were associated with regions of high biological activity and moderately-high wind speeds over the N.E. Atlantic. High-resolution mass spectra analysis revealed a unique marine organic aerosol fingerprint, when compared to anthropogenic organic aerosol, and in particular, anthropogenic hydrocarbons. 37% hydrocarbon and 63% oxygenated hydrocarbon speciation was observed for the organic mass, indicating that at least 37% of the organic mass is produced via primary sea-spray. The hydrocarbon and oxygenated hydrocarbon species were highly correlated (r > 0.99) suggesting a significant, if not dominant, fraction of the oxygenated component is also likely to be sea-spray in origin. Citation: Ovadnevaite, J., C. O'Dowd, M. Dall'Osto, D. Ceburnis, D. R. Worsnop, and H. Berresheim (2011), Detecting high contributions of primary organic matter to marine aerosol: A case study, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L02807, doi: 10.1029/2010GL046083.