Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact On European Seas

HERMIONE

Completed: April 2009 - 2012

The HERMIONE (Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man's Impact on European Seas) project is a Collaborative Project funded under the European Commission's Framework 7 programme. HERMIONE is the successor to the highly successful HERMES project, which finished in March 2009. It is designed to make a major advance in our knowledge of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and their contribution to the production of goods and services. This will be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary approach (including biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, sedimentologists, physical oceanographers, modelers and socio-economists) that will integrate biodiversity, specific adaptions and biological capacity in the context of a wide range of highly vulnerable deep-sea habitats. Gaining this understanding is crucial, because these ecosystems are now being affected by climate change and impacted by man through fishing, resource extraction, seabed installations and pollution. To design and implement effective governance strategies and management plans we must understand the extent, natural dynamics and interconnection of ocean ecosystems and integrate socio-economic research with natural science.

HERMIONE study sites include the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean and cover a range of ecosystems including cold-water corals, canyons, cold and hot seeps, seamounts and open slopes and deep basins. The project will make strong connections between deep-sea science and user needs. HERMIONE will enhance the education and public perception of the deep-ocean issues through some of the major European aquaria. A major aim of the project is to create a platform for discussion between a range of stakeholders, and contribute to EU environmental policies.

HERMIONE started work on 1 April 2009 and will continue for the next 3 years. Our consortium comprises 38 partners across Europe, and includes leading experts in the fields of marine research and environmental socio-economics. To find out more about HERMIONE and our research, please use the links at the top of this page or take a look at the following article which summarises the project: