Celebrating the International Black Sea Action Day

Turkish Marine Research Foundation is celebrating the 24th Black Sea Action Day with a regional conference. Speakers will include scientists, experts and various stakeholders from all around the Black Sea. Discussions will focus on marine pollution, policy and citizen science, protection of marine habitats, fisheries and aquaculture, sustainability and blue economy. TUDAV’s new book about the issue of marine litter in the Black Sea with contributions from 8 countries, 28 organizations and 93 researchers will be presented.

TUDAV calls for global and regional cooperation for the reduction and proper disposal of plastics.

International Black Sea Action Day

Black Sea Action Day originated 24 years ago, celebrating the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea. It was an important beginning for the great undertaking of ensuring the survival and sustainability of this complex ecosystem. Turkish Marine Research Foundation is celebrating this year’s Black Sea Action Day by bringing together scientists, experts, policy makers and civil society organizations from all around the Black Sea in a multinational conference. The online conference will see discussions on topics ranging from sustainability to marine pollution in three different panels. Subjects will include the challenges of climate change, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture as components of a blue economy, socio-economic factors surrounding the Black Sea, and the roles and responsibilities of various actors fighting marine pollution in the Black Sea.

This closed-off, busy inner sea is under immense pressure from anthropological activities. A major component of this pressure is plastic pollution, a problem that encompasses every single marine habitat, from the deep sea to the pelagic waters, biota and even the coasts of the Black Sea. Coasts of the Black Sea are littered with plastic bottles, cutlery, bits and pieces of waste accidentally imported by currents and waves, and all kinds of waste carried off by rivers. Cigarette butts are endlessly present and more than three quarters of garbage lying on our shores is made of plastics.

Marine Litter in the Black Sea

“Marine Litter in the Black Sea”, our new book dealing with the problem of marine litter in the Black Sea, is being published by the Turkish Marine Research Foundation. Prepared for the October 31st International Black Sea Action Day and edited by Dr. Ülgen AYTAN (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University) from Turkey, Dr. Maria Pogojeva (N.N. Zubov’s State Oceanographic Institute / Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences) from Russia and Dr. Anna Simeonova (Technical University of Varna), the book is filled with the contributions of 93 researchers from eight countries and 28 universities, institutes and civil society organizations. The 361-page book, published in English, becomes an important resource for everyone from scientists to decision-makers, by comprehensively addressing the issue of marine litter that threatens our seas increasingly every day.

Dr. Ülgen AYTAN, one of the editors, mentions: “Black Sea, the drainage basin for ​​21 countries, is very vulnerable to pollution. Marine litter, is one of the biggest environmental threats on the Black Sea ecosystem. Millions of tons of garbage, mostly plastic, reach the seas every year. It is almost impossible to control and completely remove plastics that spread further by breaking down into micro- and nanoplastics during their journey in the marine environment. These persistent pollutants negatively affect marine life, human health through contaminated seafood and the economy. With greater concern about this issue in recent years, scientific studies on marine litter in the Black Sea are increasing. However, there are still many questions to be answered: the extent of the effects of plastics that contain toxic chemicals and accumulate permanent pollutants in the sea, especially, are not fully known.

With this book, 93 researchers from 8 countries came together to share their knowledge current situation of marine litter in the Black Sea and the results of their national and European Union supported projects. In a total of 26 chapters, marine litter is discussed in a multifaceted way, from its possible sources to its distribution, from accumulation scenarios to its interaction with biota, from possible effects to management strategies. We believe that the book will serve as a guide resource for scientists, non-governmental organizations, industry, environmentalists, local governments and decision-makers who meet on a common ground for a healthy and sustainable Black Sea”.

The entire book is available free of charge on TUDAV’s webpage.