The overall scientific objectives of PERSEUS are to identify the interacting patterns of natural and human-derived pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Seas, assess their impact on marine ecosystems and, using the objectives and principles of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive as a vehicle, to design an effective and innovative research governance framework based on sound scientific knowledge. Well-coordinated scientific research and socio-economic analysis will be applied at a wide-ranging scale, from basin to coastal. The new knowledge will advance our understanding on the selection and application of the appropriate descriptors and indicators of the MSFD. New tools will be developed in order to evaluate the current environmental status, by way of combining monitoring and modelling capabilities and existing observational systems will be upgraded and extended. Moreover, PERSEUS will develop a concept of an innovative, small research vessel, aiming to serve as a scientific survey tool, in very shallow areas, where the currently available research vessels are inadequate. In view of reaching Good Environmental Status (GES), a scenario-based framework of adaptive policies and management schemes will be developed. Scenarios of a suitable time frame and spatial scope will be used to explore interactions between projected anthropogenic and natural pressures. A feasible and realistic adaptation policy framework will be defined and ranked in relation to vulnerable marine sectors/groups/regions in order to design management schemes for marine governance. Finally, the project will promote the principles and objectives outlined in the MSFD across the SES. Leading research Institutes and SMEs from EU Member States, Associated States, Associated Candidate countries, non-EU Mediterranean and Black Sea countries, will join forces in a coordinated manner, in order to address common environmental pressures, and ultimately, take action in the challenge of achieving GES.