The Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) programme is addressing critical marine research gaps. These gaps span a variety of disciplines, from natural capital to ocean literacy and systems-based management.

SMMR is working to break down barriers between science and policy and integrate disciplines, in order to form new marine research teams and build a strong research base to support decision-making within the UK Exclusive Economic Zone.

By working together, we can improve management of the UK marine environment and – through better management – we can realise sustainable societal and economic benefits for the UK.

Understanding Values

People value their connection with the marine environment in different ways. By taking these values into account when making decisions, we can develop more effective and transparent marine management systems.

Building Tools

Incorporating natural capital and trade-off approaches into decision-making is challenging. By delivering tools that help apply these methods to UK marine policy, we can help environmental management to be better, and more holistic.

Supporting Policy

There is a need for ambitious, coordinated actions to sustainably manage and protect the oceans for future generations. SMMR is helping to develop interventions that support government policy. These will help improve the marine environment now – and long into the future.

There are two elements to SMMR. One is the Strategic Priorities Fund, the call for which opened in April 2020 and closed in October 2020. Successful applicants to the fund were announced in late July 2021, and the projects can be read about here. The second element of SMMR is SMMR-Net, a new, interdisciplinary community of researchers and policy stakeholders. The network is separate to the funded projects, and is for anybody interested in interdisciplinary working. 

This work is jointly delivered by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on behalf of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Marine Scotland.