Assessing the vulnerability of the Black Sea marine ecosystem to human pressures
This Project aims to assess the status of the Black Sea, through collaborative efforts and harmonized methods among partners, which are National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” (NIMRD) (Coordinator), Mare Nostrum, Institute of Oceanology – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IO-BAS), Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of Sea (UkrSCES), Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – Marmara Research Center (TUBITAK-MAM) and Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV). Project builds upon the existing regional (BSIMAP) and national monitoring programs, the best practices of other Regional Sea Conventions, and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) principles. The tasks include conducting case studies in selected areas: coastal and open sea by testing the Black Sea Monitoring and Assessment Guidance: comparative assessment of rivers impact on the Black Sea water quality; response of coastal ecosystems under the influence of human pressures, implementation of the methodology for identification and prioritization of Hot Spots (Hot Black Sea tool); guidance tool on the adaptative environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures; and Joint Scientific Cruise. The assessment will be made in terms of biodiversity, eutrophication, contamination, marine litter, and so on. A pilot study on the quality of Black Sea seafood, with aim to provide new data on chemical contamination of aquatic organisms and potential risks, will be carried out as well. The two case studies on beach litter and cetaceans will enhance the citizen science. Data and information gathered through project activities will create a compatible and open pool of data, usable by regional partners, general public and relevant stakeholders, thus contributing to improvement and upgrading of existing Black Sea data base, and to a better understanding of the human-induced changes. Project continues for 28 months, from 26.07.2018 to 25.11.2020.