Are you a policy maker in the UK and interested in the sustainable management of UK marine resources? If so, you’re in the right place – this page contains key details on policy-relevant information about the SMMR programme. 


About SMMR:

The Sustainable Management of UK Marine Resources (SMMR) Strategic Priorities Fund is a £12.4m initiative dedicated to funding marine research that addresses critical gaps in understandingas identified by UK policy makers. 

The programme aims to bring together marine scientists, policy makers, industry representatives, wider stakeholders and the public to build a strong marine research community and, ultimately, bridge the gap between science and policy.

SMMR Aims:

SMMR aims to support new approaches to managing UK marine environments through collaborative, cutting edge research. In doing so, it seeks to inform and invigorate UK marine policy. 

Policy involvement to date: 

From initial policy input in 2020, the programme devised three core themes:

  1. Understanding values associated with the marine environment;
  2. Building tools to support management;
  3. Designing interventions to support policy.
These core themes are specifically designed to deliver outputs that will be relevant to the identified needs of marine policy stakeholders.

Over the lifetime of the programme, SMMR will:

Funded Projects:

SMMR funds six innovative projects that each address two of the programme’s three core themes. The research conducted by the six projects aims to directly inform future marine policy, and is centred around the identified needs of UK policy makers. 


Resilience of Coastal Communities (ROCC)

The ROCC project explores the past and present management of marine environments to help people make better management decisions in the future. This approach will help decision makers find a balance between the marine environment, people’s wellbeing, and community resilience, leading to a more sustainable use of marine resources and benefits for people.

For more information about ROCC, visit here

Integrating Diverse Values into Marine Management

The Integrating Diverse Values into Marine Management project aims to increase understanding and implementation of diverse values into marine policy and decision making. The project will do this through the creation of transition plans that help institutions embed transdisciplinary practices into their business and their activities. 

For more information about Integrating Diverse Values into Marine Management, visit here

Pyramids of Life: Working with Nature

The ‘Pyramids of Life’ approach to a sustainable future captures and helps to communicate complex relationships between different species, human behaviours, and marine ecosystem functions. This work will provide a multidimensional perspective of the value (economic, social, and environmental) of marine ecosystems, so that future management interventions are based squarely on what is sustainable. 

For more information about Pyramids of Life, visit here

Co-Benefit Solutions for Resilient Coasts (Co-Opt)

Co-Opt will deliver a new framework that will support the transition from hard ‘grey’ defences (e.g. groynes, stepped sea walls, and rip-rap sea walls) to softer ‘green’ solutions (e.g. managed realignment, restoration of coastal habitats, and sand mega-nourishments) for coastal and shoreline management. This will provide a scalable and adaptive solution to support coastal management and policy development.

For more information about Co-Opt, visit here

Marine Spatial Planning Addressing Climate Effects (MSPACE)

The MSPACE project aims to drive forward the capability of the four UK nations in designing and implementing economically viable and socially acceptable climate-smart marine spatial plans (MSP). By first assessing climate change effects across the whole UK EEZ, and then exploring the economic and social dimensions of those effects, the project hopes to ensure sustainable management of marine resources and improve the marine environment for the next generation.

For more information about MSPACE, visit here

Restoration of Seagrass for Ocean Wealth (ReSOW UK)

ReSOW UK will facilitate informed management and restoration of seagrass for sustainable social, environmental and economic net gains for the UK. This research will aid the development of applied online tools to enable the integration of seagrass into sustainable marine management. 

For more information about ReSOW UK, visit here.

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