Matthew Witt

Sunrise, Isles of Scilly, seal-counting day

MERiFIC grey seal

Matthew Witt

Dr Matthew Witt is leading the research on this project. The full list of overall MERiFIC partners is to the left.

MERiFIC (Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities)

The MERiFIC project seeks to advance the adoption of marine energy across the two regions of Cornwall and Finistère, and the island communities of le Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise and the Isles of Scilly.

Its overall aim is to develop and deliver joint activities between the regions, by mapping marine energy resource, looking at policy issues and potential barriers to marine energy development, assessing commercial opportunities for island and mainland communities and working out how best to engage island and mainland residents, as well as stakeholders such as fishing communities, wave farm developers and investors.

MERiFIC funding has facilitated a partnership between the University of Exeter, including the ESI (Dr Matthew Witt), the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (Prof. Brendan Godley), and the College of Engineering, Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Dr Peter Connor and Prof. Lars Johanning) and Parc Naturel Marin d’Iroise. Partners local to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, include Cornwall Seal Group and David McBride from the Isles of Scilly. The local partnership has focused on seals and has conducted several surveys of the three main areas known to support seals in the Isles of Scilly. The partnership has also deployed time-lapse cameras to monitor seal haul-out locations on land in Cornwall.

The MERiFIC project has enabled experts to work together to develop best practice for surveying seals and promote capacity building, ensuring the region is prepared for the arrival of marine renewable energy and the benefits it will likely bring towards delivering a low-carbon energy future.

Prinicipal researchers

The overall MERiFIC project is a long-term collaboration between the following:

Grants and Funding

MERiFIC was selected under the European Cross-Border Cooperation Programme INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England, co-funded by the ERDF.