HERMES project is an international, multidisciplinary research programme investigating Europe's deep marine ecosystems and their environment. Coordination is led by NERC (National Oceanography Centre of Southampton, UK).

Project has started in April 2005 and will run for 4 years. HERMES investigates Europe's deep marine ecosystems and their environment to prepare for improved sustainable management and ocean exploitation. HERMES brings together expertise in biodiversity, geology, sedimentology, physical oceanography, microbiology and biochemistry.

HERMES study sites extend from the Arctic to the Black Sea, some of them being common with ESONET sites. They include biodiversity hotspots such as cold seeps, cold-water coral mounds and reefs, canyons and anoxic environments, and communities found on open slopes. These important systems require urgent study because of their possible biological fragility, unique genetic resources, global relevance to carbon cycling and susceptibility to global change and human impact. In addition to the cutting edge science programme, HERMES is pioneering a way forward in providing relevant and accessible information for policy makers and governmental advisors, so that new policy decisions can be made using the latest, most up-to-date facts from reliable, authoritative sources.

Detailed description

Detailed information is available on HERMES website.