A singular evolutive extended Kalman (SEEK) filter is used to assimilate real in situ data in a water column marine ecosystem model. The biogeochemistry of the ecosystem is described by the European Regional Sea Ecosystem Model (ERSEM), while the physical forcing is described by the Princeton Ocean Model (POM). In the SEEK filter, the error statistics are parameterized by means of a suitable basis of empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs). The purpose of this contribution is to track the possibility of using data assimilation techniques for state estimation in marine ecosystem models. In the experiments, real oxygen and nitrate data are used and the results evaluated against independent chlorophyll data. These data were collected from an offshore station at three different depths for the needs of the MFSPP project. The assimilation results show a continuous decrease in the estimation error and a clear improvement in the model behavior.