Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (MERMAN) Contaminants and biological effects in biota - 1989 onwards

Data set information

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Data holding centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
ProjectClean and Safe Seas Evidence Group(CSSEG); National Marine Monitoring Program(NMMP)
Time periodOngoing monitoring
Geographical area

UK waters


Quality control flags; SeaDataNet biological format biotic parameters; Biota lipid concentrations; Metadata parameters; Concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biota; Metal concentrations in biota; Fish disease and parasites


The Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database (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). The data collected are the responsibility of the Competent Monitoring Authorities (CMAs) who collect the samples from stations in UK waters using water sampling techniques, trawls, nets or grabs. The CMAs then send the collected samples to accredited laboratories where they are analysed. A weighting is calculated, based on the quality of the analysis. The weighting score incorporates the laboratory accreditation, reference material, inter-laboratory comparisons, detection limits, uncertainties and standard deviations. Where data do not meet a threshold score they are given a status of ‘FAIL’ and although they are stored they are not made available to external users. The contaminants and biological effects in biota data start in 1987 with greater use of the database occurring from 1997 onwards. Data are submitted by the CMAs annually and an annual submission may include updates to legacy data to provide additional data or improve data/metadata. The data held in MERMAN fulfils the UK's mandatory monitoring requirements under the Oslo and Paris Convention (OSPAR) Joint Assessments and Monitoring Programme (JAMP). These data are used in support of European Commission (EC) directives and national assessments, such as Charting Progress 2 and are also supplied to the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODNET).

OriginatorsAgri-Food and Biosciences Institute
British Oceanographic Data Centre
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Laboratory
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Environment Agency Head Office
Food Standards Scotland
Natural Resources Wales
Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Stirling Office
Data web site
OrganisationBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
ContactJames Ayliffe (MERMAN Data Manager)

British Oceanographic Data Centre
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1048MERMAN_CF
Global identifier6541
Last revised2021-04-21