About the programme

The Marine Ecosystems Research Programme (MERP) will address key knowledge gaps in marine ecosystem research. By bringing together existing data and targeted new data, the programme scientists will integrate these data with current models and knowledge of ecosystem services within a common framework, in order to improve our understanding of the whole UK marine ecosystem.

The programme will facilitate the development of a more accurate suite of marine ecosystem models and provide vital evidence, tools and advice to policymakers and environmental managers, including the development and implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Marine and Coastal Access Act, Marine (Scotland) Act, Common Fisheries Policy and the OSPAR Joint Assessment and Monitoring Programme.

MERP is jointly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Whale on the surface of the ocean surrounded by sea birds

Further information

The MERP Summary is a two page document, produced by Defra, with further information about the programme and explains how the programme will inform management and policy.

The Programme Outline provides a full description of the programme and the objectives, collaborations and specific modules.

The MERP programme leaflet is an at-a-glance overview of the programme and its objectives. Printed copies are available by requesting them from marineNOSPAM.ecosystems@pml.ac.uk.

Project video

Project Partners

For a searchable list of individual project participants click here. To view a diagram of the consortium of MERP click here.


Email newsletters are sent on a biannual basis and provide useful updates about MERP. If you would like to be sent future newsletters or information about MERP please register using the form on this page.

Register your interest

If you would like to be kept up-to-date with MERP activities and news please fill in your details below.

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Latest update


20 April 2018

Howarth LM, Somerfield P, Blanchard J, Hiddink JG 2018
British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council

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