Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN)

Assessments and data access

Assessments of the most recently extracted contaminant data in MERMAN
Assessments of the most recently extracted contaminant data in MERMAN ©

Data assessments

The MERMAN data were most recently assessed and reported in

Annual assessments are also made in OSPAR Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP):

Assessment viewer tool

The Clean Seas Environment Monitoring Programme (CSEMP) assessment viewer tool, built by the UK Clean Safe Seas Evidence Group, enables you to view assessments on the most recently extracted contaminant data (19 October 2016).

Within the assessment viewer tool

Assessments of the potential impact of individual chemicals use an environmental quality standard (EQS), derived from the concentration at which laboratory data suggest that the chemical could be harmful. Most of these standards are for water. For sediments and biota, we have data on background assessment concentrations (BACs) and environmental assessment criteria (EACs), the latter based on toxicological information and which often also add a margin of safety to give a very conservative estimate of potential harm.

A graph showing lead concentration
A graph showing lead concentration ©

Alternative approaches involve combining modelling, laboratory and field toxicity data to generate a range of concentrations within which potential effects may occur. For example, Effects Range-Low (ERL) and Effects Range-Median (ERM) concentrations. This approach, first developed for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is now widely used around the world.

Data access

To access the data held in MERMAN, please contact merman@bodc.ac.uk.

Alternatively, MERMAN data are also available via the European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet) chemistry portal.

Before MERMAN data can be provided, a data supply agreement must be completed and returned to BODC.


Related MERMAN pages at BODC

Project overview    Other links
BODC's role     Assessment tool
Partnerships     Data supply agreement
Project specific     

Related external links

Charting Progress 2: The state of UK seas    Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme (CEMP)
OSPAR Quality Status Report 2010     EMODnet chemistry portal