Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN)

Project overview

Sea Town, South Coast of UK
Sea Town, South Coast of UK ©

MERMAN is a national database which holds and provides access to data collected under the Clean Safe Seas Environmental Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) — formerly the National Marine Monitoring Programme (NMMP).

MERMAN is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland (DARD), the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and Marine Scotland (MS).

CSEMP itself provides a coordinated approach to environmental monitoring in the UK's coastal and estuarine areas. The programme fulfils the UK's commitment to European directives including its mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessment Monitoring Programme (JAMP).

The general aims of CSEMP are to

  1. Detect long-term spatial and temporal trends in physical, biological and chemical variables at selected estuarine and coastal sites
  2. Support consistent standards in national and international monitoring programmes for marine environmental quality
  3. Establish appropriate protective regulatory measures
  4. Coordinate and optimise marine monitoring in the UK
  5. Provide a high quality chemical and biological data set from the UK’s marine environment
A map showing the stations which are sampled under the CSEMP programme
A map showing the core stations which are sampled under the CSEMP programme ©


A map showing the stations which are sampled under the CSEMP programme
A map showing the total spatial coverage of monitoring, including opportunistic stations ©

Monitoring stations

There are approximately 1000 core stations, as illustrated in the map on the right, monitored to determine long-term trends around the UK coastline. Data are also collected from a number of opportunistic stations increasing the spatial coverage of the monitoring network. Contaminants are measured in waters, sediments and biota to assess their distribution and fate in the environment. Biological effects are also measured to determine the response of organisms to contaminants.

Data are quality assured using internal and external programmes. The participating laboratories subscribe to the Quality Assurance of Information for Marine Environmental Monitoring in Europe (QUASIMEME) or the Biological Effects Quality Assurance in Monitoring Programmes (BEQUALM) inter-laboratory proficiency-testing schemes and perform internal quality assurance.

The principal output from the coordinated monitoring is an annual submission of quality assured data to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES).

 


Related MERMAN pages at BODC

BODC's role     Assessments and data access
Partnerships     Other links
Project specific     

Related external links

Marine Scotland (MS)    International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)   Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR)
Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland (DARD)    Marine Environmental Monitoring in Europe (QUASIMEME)
Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)   Biological Effects Quality Assurance in Monitoring Programmes (BEQUALM)