MERLIN projects: Launching new initiatives for our oceans

MERLIN ("Pour la MER, Lancement d'Initiatives Nouvelles") projects are the fruit of discussions at IFREMER to develop and encourage new, federating, flagship initiatives for IFREMER to enhance its potential for scientific discovery.

MERLIN projects are funded for at least three years to help accelerate scientific innovation in certain promising fields. These projects aim to jump start new research fronts for IFREMER in addition to its current research programmes.

Les premiers projets Merlin retenus sont :

  • The Abyss (Pourquoi pas les abysses ?)
  • POPSTAR — A new-generation fish-tagging system
  • Microplastics

With these MERLIN projects, IFREMER mobilises its multidisciplinary talents and provides the means to renew its exploration of the oceans, not only for the sake of geography but also to push back the frontiers of technology and current paradigms,” explains Marie-Hélène Tusseau Vuillemin, scientific director at IFREMER.

The Abyss (Pourquoi pas les abysses ?)

The Pourquoi pas les abysses? project aims to accelerate knowledge acquisition on deep-sea biodiversity.


Bottles, packaging, cigarette butts, bags, fish nets, etc. An ocean of plastics! Human-generated litter is present everywhere in the ocean, even in the deep sea.

POPSTAR — A new-generation fish-tagging system

When and where do fish feed and reproduce? How can we identify their migration routes to better estimate their abundance?