Objectives of the MEESO project

Overall aim

The overall aim of the MEESO project is

  • to quantify the spatio-temporal distributions of biomass, production and ecosystem role of mesopelagic resources.

  • to assess options to sustainably manage and govern exploitation of mesopelagic resources.

According to the EU Blue Growth and Bioeconomy Strategies, marine resources are important in the supply of food and the creation of jobs. Currently, the supply of marine bio-resources cannot meet the human demand for food, thereby providing a compelling rationale for a strong European effort into the exploration of unexploited marine resources.

MEESO will contribute to sustainable fisheries in a healthy marine environment supporting an economically viable industry providing new job opportunities  in line with the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the EU International Ocean Governance Communication, the EU Communication for a Sustainable European Future, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Food 203098 process for food and nutrition security.


The overall aim of the MEESO project will be achieved by accomplishing the following specific objectives:

  • Demonstrate and implement new acoustic, optical, and trawl technologies for the quantification and scientific sampling of mesopelagic organisms.

  • Develop and test a protocol for spatially explicit abundance estimation, including uncertainty, and sampling of mesopelagic species on monitoring cruises.

  • Develop and apply fishing and processing technologies to enable viable fisheries.

  • Identify, develop and validate products from the mesopelagic biomass towards the human food chain and biotechnological applications.

  • Map the content of contaminants and nutrients in key mesopelagic species.

  • Assess key species biomass and production, quantify major food web interactions, vital rates and carbon sequestration by the mesopelagic community.

  • Build an ensemble of mathematical models that projects possible trajectories for mesopelagic resources considering their internal dynamics as well as climate change and fishery drivers.

  • Evaluate management strategies to secure and optimize the future of mesopelagic fisheries under sustainable exploitation, thereby informing policy according to biodiversity, food safety and security, and public acceptance goals.

  • Evaluate the consequences of fisheries, biodiversity, and carbon exploitation policy in different jurisdictions for carbon sequestration.

  • Build the sectorial and societal capacities to improve professional skills, recommend policies and create jobs



13 AUGUST 2022