The MERCES proposal will provide the EU with new, ecologically and economically sustainable protocols for the restoration of threatened and damaged marine ecosystems. European seas are being faced by a huge number of pressures from coastal development to the exploration of deep-sea minerals on the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Of all European environments, the marine environment shows greatest disparity between 1) the level of man’s impacts now being experienced and 2) the level of knowledge required to restore ecosystems to a Good Environmental Status. In addition, the marine focus allows a truly multi-disciplinary project to be established within the cost restrictions of the Call. The overall goal is to enhance the EU capacity to restore degraded and/or damaged marine ecosystems and habitats and the services they provide to human well-being. This will be achieved by offering policy makers and stakeholders new solutions for marine restoration, creating the knowledge base for new professions in the field of marine environmental services, and creating new job opportunities in both the private and public sectors associated with (economic) interests in the remediation of degraded/damaged marine ecosystems. It will also involve the analysis of the effects of restoration on the recovery of ecosystem services and societal benefits and the provision of a cost-benefit analysis of restoration activities.

Funded by

EU Flag SM


The EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Project Partners

  • Università Politecnica delle Marche
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
  • Hellenic Centre for Marine Research
  • Instituto do Mar Centro da Universidade dos Açores
  • Alfred Wegener Institut
  • Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
  • National University of Ireland Galway
  • Wageningen University
  • Aalborg University
  • Åbo Akademi University
  • Estonian Marine Institute, University of Tartu
  • Faculty of Science University of Zagreb
  • Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare
  • Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
  • Ecopath International Initiative
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Norsk institutt for vannforskning
  • Natural Environment Research Council
  • Ecoreach s.r.l.
  • Median SCP
  • Studio Associato GAIA snc
  • Deep Seas Environmental Solutions Ltd
  • Marine Law and Ocean Policy Research Services Limited
  • WWF Italia ONG ONLUS
  • World Conservation Monitoring Centre
  • Mediterranean Conservation Society
  • University of Barcelona
  • Heriot-Watt University