Marine & Environmental Research (MER) Lab Ltd is an environmental consulting and research performing SME, formed in 2008 and operating in Cyprus. MER’s team is composed of young biologists, marine biologists, oceanographers and environmental biologists who specialise in the provision of services that relate to the marine ecology, fisheries and aquaculture and have been engaging and working closely with local stakeholders of these sectors.
MER implemented marine monitoring and environmental impact assessment studies and has good knowledge of the local bio-communities. MER carried out governmental tenders which ranged from promoting seafood products by giving educational seminars and organizing festivals to pelagic fisheries data collection. MER has recently coordinated a local 3-year research program that aimed in assessing the ecological quality of heavily impacted Vasiliko Bay. MER also participated in a 4-year FP7 project titled IDREEM which aimed to test Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) across European aquaculture. MER’s background with Lessepsian invasive species goes back more than 5 years ago, when MER implemented a tender which included sampling and determining length, weight, sex, gonadal weight and maturity, and stomach contents from thousands of individuals of the alien invasive species Lagocephalus sceleratus. Recently, MER has collaborated with the diver and fishermen community around the island of Cyprus to report a lionfish population boom in south-eastern Cyprus. In RELIONMED, MER has the role of the Scientific Coordinator, participates in all Actions and leads the Risk Assessment and the development and demonstration of a removal response system.