menu button

MERP Programme Launches

Published: 14 May 2014

Group photo of MERP scientists in the PML garden surrounded by treesJune saw the kick-off meeting of the £5m Marine Ecosystem Research Programme (MERP), jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Over 40 of the UK’s leading marine scientists gathered in Plymouth to discuss the workplan that will enable them to address key knowledge gaps relating to the UK marine environment, and promote the sustainable management of our seas. Plymouth Marine Laboratory is leading this programme and was the ideal place to host the kick-off meeting as it overlooks one of the most studied marine ecosystems in the world - Plymouth Sound.

By bringing together existing data from a wide range of sources, and collecting new data, this five-year, interdisciplinary research programme will facilitate the development of a more accurate suite of marine ecosystem models. This will provide vital evidence, tools and advice to policymakers and environmental managers on the mechanics and dynamics of marine ecosystem services provided by the marine environment, during a time of global environmental change.

Scientists listening to a talk by Manuel Barange inside the lecture theatre at Plymouth Marine LaboratoryMarine ecosystem services is a term used to describe the economic and societal benefits provided by the marine environment to human health, wealth and well-being. These include benefits such as providing food, regulating our
climate, defending our coastlines and recreation. Human activities can have significant impacts upon these benefits directly, such as through the use of marine resources, as well as indirectly through activities such as CO2 emissions and coastal development, so it is important that we understand and manage our exploitation of this vital source of services so that society continues to benefit into the future.

Key areas of investigation within this programme will include the role of ecological processes in marine food webs, the impact of large- and small-scale changes on ecosystem services and how functional diversity affects the regulation of ecosystem services.

Research outputs from this programme will be communicated to those involved with the development and implementation of the UK’s Marine and Coastal Access Act, Marine (Scotland) Act, Common Fisheries Policy, EU’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme.

Related information

Download the Media note


Share this page:


Other news stories

New starter

01 September 2017

Protecting top predators

15 October 2015

Kelp's heating up!

15 February 2017

Displaying results 1-4 (of 70)
 |<  < 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|