© 2019, Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
For bibliographic purposes this document may be cited as:
BSC, 2019. State of the Environment of the Black Sea (2009-2014/5). Edited by Anatoly Krutov. Publications of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (BSC) 2019, Istanbul, Turkey, 811 pp.
The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Moreover, the views expressed do not necessarily represent the decision or the stated policy of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, nor does citing of trade names or commercial processes constitute endorsement.
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Cover design by Iryna Makarenko
Cover images by EMBLAS Project
This Report on the State of the Black Sea Environment (further referred to as BS SoE Report) for the years 2009-2014 is a scientific marine environmental assessment report undertaken periodically to trace the state of knowledge and to propose measures for improvement of the quality of environment and protection of ecosystems from impact of anthropogenic activities in the Black Sea basin. This Report synthesizes the collected and evaluated data/information in this period. Its main findings demonstrated by smart indicators and, where possible, visualized on maps.
Therefore, the purpose of this assessment is to provide decision-makers, relevant stakeholders and public with comprehensive summary of contemporary knowledge on the state of the Black Sea environment in the selected period and to assess the efficiency of implemented policy and management measures. This Report also aims at identifying significant gaps in knowledge and to serve as basis for judging the effectiveness and adequacy of environmental protection measures, in particular, proposed in the Strategic Action Plan for the Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation of the Black Sea (BS SAP) adopted in 2009 and for making any necessary adjustments in national environmental policies and elaboration of scenarios for tackling environmental consequences of the human activities in the Black Sea basin.
This BS SoE Report is the third assessment prepared by the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (further also referred to as Black Sea Commission or BSC), steps on the previous BSC SoE reports,  as well as on the reports and deliverables of the different international projects, such as SESAME, PERSEUS, KnowSeas, PEGASO, MISIS, EMBLAS, EMODNet and other relevant projects , as well as national projects and initiatives. It also refers to and utilizes to a certain extent relevant publications prepared for the Black Sea by various experts working in the Black Sea basin and beyond. This Report is prepared with financial contribution from EC/UNDP EMBLAS Project.
A lot of experts contributed to the elaboration of this SoE Report. These include representatives of the Black Sea scientific institutions; experts from projects and national programs of the Black Sea importance; individual scientists and research teams; partner organizations that have proven dedication and reached significant scientific results in the Black Sea environmental studies.
A dedicated Expert Working Group (WG) on elaboration of draft BS SoE Report was established under the auspices of the Black Sea Commission. The members of the WG met on 29th October, 2015 in Istanbul (Turkey) in order to discuss the modalities of report preparations in accordance with outline of the report which incorporated both existing approaches to ocean assessment - UN World Ocean Assessment approach (also called Regular Process) and European approach reflecting provisions of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The preparation of this meeting was partialy financed within the work of the EU PERSEUS Project.
Chapter 1 of the Report, within three sub-chapters, presents the state and dynamics of the Black Sea, geographical, physico-chemical characteristics and features of its biological community. Chapter 2 describes the state, dynamics and status of exploitation of the living and non-living resources in the Black Sea. Chapter 3 incorporates data on the state of Black Sea coast and socio-economic pressures and factors.
To conclude, I would like to extend my gratitude to colleagues from Permanent Secretariat, Kiril Iliev for his help in formatting and in particular Iryna Makarenko (PMA Officer) for her efforts throughout the production of the Report, all authors and especially to members of Working Group on elaboration of SoE Report for their scientific contributions, to the members of Black Sea Commission and its Advisory Groups for their valuable comments and proposals, all other organizations and individuals who kindly provided relevant data and information for this Report.
Let me wish all of us success in our efforts to preserve the unique and precious ecosystem of the Black Sea - our common heritage!
Prof. Dr. Halil İbrahim Sur
Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
Table 22.214.171.124. Indicators: mesozooplankton biomass (mgm-3), N. scintillans (% N.sci), Shannon index H (A) and H (B) at three habitats in the period 2007-2014. Blue color cells correspond to GEnS values.
Table 126.96.36.199. Ecological index, Ecological Quality Ratio and ecological status of investigated polygons in Varna bay: 2007-2014 years. Ecological Status Class: red-bad status; orange-poor; moderate-yellow; good-green; high-blue
Table 188.8.131.52. Ecological quality ratio, Ecological index values of investigated polygons along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Ecological Status Class: red-bad status; orange-poor; moderate-yellow; good-green; high-blue
Table 184.108.40.206: List of seabird species occurring in the Black Sea, including the countries where they occur. SPEC category corresponds to the European birds of conservation concern of BirdLife International (2017).
Figure 220.127.116.11. Vertical variations of density (expressed in terms of sigma-t, kg m-3) at various locations of the interior basin during different months representing different types of vertical structures.
Figure 18.104.22.168. Long term variations of the winter (December-March) mean sea surface temperature and the summer-autumn (May-November) mean Cold Intermediate Layer (CIL) temperature below the seasonal thermocline.
Figure 22.214.171.124. A typical structure of the upper layer circulation field deduced from a circulation model using assimilation of altimeter sea level anomaly data as described by Korotaev et al. (2003).
Figure 126.96.36.199. SeaWiFS chlorophyll distributions showing two alternative forms of circulation structure in the northwestern shelf; (a) a southward coastal current system during days 152-155 (early June) and (b) a closed circulation system confined into its northern sector during days 194-197 (mid-July), 1998 (taken from Oguz et al., 2002).
Figure 188.8.131.52. Intra-annual distribution of rivers flow (km3 / month) with natural (1921-1955) and regulated (1975-2017) regimes. (Notes: x-axis of the plot years, y-axis of the plot river flows km3/year).
Figure 184.108.40.206. Multiyear water flows through the Kerch Strait (km3/year). Notes: x-axis of the plot years, y-axis of the plot flow; . flow from the Azov Sea, - - - - flow from the Black Sea, ____ summary of flows.
Figure 220.127.116.11. The intra-annual distribution of mean annual monthly values of the components of the Black Sea water balance (km3 / month), calculated according to  for 1958 - 2017. Notes: x-axis of the plot months, y-axis of the plot flow; . Upper Bosporus flow, - - - - Lower Bosporus flow, ____ fresh water flow, -A-A- total flow.
Figure 18.104.22.168.1. Temporal changes of annual total deposition of cadmium (ton/year), mercury (t/y), lead (100*t/y), and benzo(a)pyrene (t/y) to the Black Sea in the period from 2009 to 2014 (a) and their relative changes in comparison to the level of deposition in 2009 (%).
Figure 22.214.171.124. Surface slicks in the continental slope area offshore Georgia as seen in SAR imagery: (a) Sentinel-1 SAR, 15 October 2014, 15:10 UTC; (b) Sentinel-1 SAR, 8 November 2014, 15:10 UTC; (c) Envisat ASAR, 27 September 2011, 07:21 UTC.
Figure 126.96.36.199. Analysis of SAR imagery of sea surface oil pollution due to seabed seepages in the south-eastern continental slope area: (a) consolidated map of oil patches; (b) size distributions of individual oil patches; (c) monthly means of oil patch sizes.
Figure 188.8.131.52. The ratio of 16 PAHs in the bottom sediments of Danube estuarine by the number of rings in molecule (the number of stations is located along the vertical axis; the PAHs percentage of on the number of rings is located along abscissa).
Figure 184.108.40.206. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides in water, 2012 2014, in Constanţa and Danube mouth area, in relation to the proposed values for the definition of good environmental status.
Figure 220.127.116.11. Concentrations of PCB28, PCB52, PCB101 and PCB118, in sediment, 20122014, in Constanta and Danube mouth area, in relation to the proposed values for the definition of good environmental status (ERL).
Figure 18.104.22.168. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides in water, 20122014, in Constanta and Danube mouth area, in relation to the proposed values for the definition of good environmental status (ERL).
Figure 22.214.171.124. Levels (g/g) of Cd and Cu in mussels along Romanian Black Sea coast (2012-2014) against background assessment concentrations (BAC/OSPAR) and maximum allowable concentrations (MAC/EC nr. 1881/2006).
Figure 1.7.1. Map of the study area (North-western Black Sea) showing the distribution of Anthropogenic Marine Debris (AMD-dark bars) and Natural Marine Debris (NMD-light bars) densities (expressed as number of items/km).
Figure 126.96.36.199. Map of sampling station and distribution of number of stations by seasons and pelagic habitats per country: BG-Bulgaria, GE-Georgia, RO-Romania, TR- Turkey, UA- Ukraine; RU-Russia (Tr- transitional, CO-coastal (depth <30m), SH- shelf (depth>30-<200m and O-open sea (depth>200m), SO- shelf-open sea)
Figure 188.8.131.52. Phytoplankton biodiversity by taxonomic classes for the period 2008-2014 by countries: a) BG pelagic habitats; b) Georgia coastal habitat; c) Romanian pelagic habitats (CW-coastal waters, TW-transitional waters, SW-shelf waters, OW-open waters) d) island Zmiiniy e) Russia waters f) Odessa coastal habitat g) Turkish waters
Figure 184.108.40.206. Trends in phytoplankton Total Abundance (cells/l) during 2008-2014 in spring and summer by habitats (BG-Bulgaria); CO-WFD 1n.m. coastal, CO-coastal, SH-shelf, O-open sea; on the x axes are given the months of sampling_
Figure 220.127.116.11. Trends in phytoplankton Total Biomass (mg/m3) during 2008-2014 in spring and summer by habitats (BG-Bulgaria); CO-WFD 1n.m. coastal, CO-coastal, SH-shelf, O-open sea; x axis-months of sampling
Figure 18.104.22.168. Changes in the monthly mean pytoplankton total abundance (top panel) and biomass (bottom panel) during 2008-2014 in May-June in Russian waters . Minimum, maximum, 25% and 75% percentiles are shown_
Figure 22.214.171.124c. Monthly averaged bloom area (km2) in the shelf (upper left) in spring, and summer (upper right) and open sea (spring (right) and summer (left)) by years) (after Slabakova et al., 2014)
Figure 126.96.36.199. Interannual variability of the abundance (Nc, 1x106cells/l), biomass (Bc, mg/m3), surface area (Sс, μm2/m3), surface index (ISс, m-1) and specific surface ((SW)c, m2/kg1) of the of phytoplankton communities of the Odessa coast (2006-2013)
Figure 188.8.131.52. Spatial distribution of phytoplankton abundance (106 cells/l) and biomass (g/m3) in spring (a, b) and summer (c, d); the numbers in white denote averages and in red-maximum values (based on data in Table 184.108.40.206).
Figure 220.127.116.11. Shifts in sea surface temperature (∆T) from the average values for 2005-2014: (1) winter temperature; (2) summer temperature; and (3) annual average temperature. Line shows linear trend of annual average temperature (Arashkevich et al., 2015).
Figure 18.104.22.168. Seasonal annual fluctuations of taxonomic structure in abundance (indm-3) at different habitat type during the period 2007-2014: a) spring, b) summer, c) autumn. N. scintillans is not included in the total mesozooplankton abundance.
Figure 22.214.171.124. Seasonal fluctuations of taxonomic structure in biomass (indm-3) at different habitat type during the period 2007-2014: a) spring, b) summer, c) autumn. N. scintillans is not included in the total mesozooplankton biomass.
Figure 126.96.36.199.2. Interannual variation in biomass (B, mg Cm-3) and taxonomic structure of mesozooplankton in 050 m layer of the mid shelf of the northeastern Black Sea: (1) Noctiluca; (2) meroplankton; (3) cladocerans; (4) chaetognaths; (5) copepods and (6) others. Traditionally for the Black Sea, the heterotrophic dinoflagellate Noctiluca scintillans is regarded as a component of mesozooplankton because of its large size and omnivorous diet.
Figure 188.8.131.52.3. Cross-shelf distribution of mesozooplankton biomass (mg Cm-3) in the northeastern Black Sea in (a) spring and (b) autumn. The average values of the total biomass for each coastal zone are reported with the standard error bars.
Figure 184.108.40.206.2. Interannual and seasonal dynamics of the total biomass of mesozooplankton in the southeastern part of the Turkish coast of the Black Sea. To biomass value conversion from dry to wet weight, the following dependence was used: 1 mg DW = 5 mg WW (Cushing et al., 1958).
Figure 220.127.116.11. Average dry biomass of а C. crinita [gm-2 D.W.] of samples from the coast of Sozopol town , average daily temperature (C, grey line) and average monthly solar illumination (kWh.m-2, black line)
Figure 18.104.22.168. Upper infralittoral macroalgal communities structure at depths 2-3 meters at stations at Cape Galata (Gal_02, 2 km from the inner Varna Bay), Rodni Balkani 2 (RB_02 9 km from the inner Varna Bay), and Rodni Balkani 3 ( RB_03, 10 km from the inner Varna Bay) in the summer of 2011 (Todorova et al., 2012)
Figure 22.214.171.124 Changes in species number of Chlorophyta, Ochrophyta and Rhodophyta phylums along the Bulgarian coast from investigated polygons (from north to south) in the period 2007-2014 years, summer - autumnal season.
Figure 126.96.36.199. Changes in the Floristic index (F) along the Bulgarian coast from investigated polygons (from north to south) in the period 2007-2014 years, summer - autumnal season (symbols correspond to Fig. 188.8.131.52).
Figure 184.108.40.206. Total biomass (gm-2) values of macropohyte communities in Varna Bay (summer season) from the years of investigation (2007-2014). Vertical lines show standard error from average biomass values (quadrates)
Figure 220.127.116.11. Seasonal variations of average biomass (g dry weight m-2) of macroalgal taxa (a) and the average biomass (g dry weight m-2) of each class in each season (b) (Karauha and Ersoy Karauha, 2013)
Figure 18.104.22.168. Comparison of the seasonal dynamics of the solar radiation (a), water temperature (b) and functioning intensity of macrophytes communities Surface Index (c) for the period 2011-2013 on the Odessa coast
Figure 22.214.171.124. Synchronicity deviations from average value of the period of 1981-2010 for Precipitation and Danube flow (a) and Surface Index and Production of macrophytes community (b) in 2008-2015_
Figure 126.96.36.199. The percentage of bottom cover of the total macrophytes and Phyllophora spp. populations at Zernovs Phyllophora Fieldaccording to survey by UkrSCES in 2012 (Komorin V., UkrSCES, unpublished)
Figure 188.8.131.52. Temporal dynamic of the ECS categories on the Odessa cost (northwestern part of Black Sea) in period 2008-2015 year have assessment by macrophytes morphofunctional EEI the phytocenosis Surface Index (SIph).
Figure 184.108.40.206. Abundances of adult M. leidyi and B. ovata along transect in the north-eastern Black Sea from 1999 to 2016 in the coastal waters up to 100 m depth. Error bars: standard deviations. (A) Interannual variations of mean values during each sampling survey along transect in Figure 220.127.116.11.
Figure 18.104.22.168. Maximal annual number of adult B. ovata in 1999-2016 plotted as a function of maximum annual number of adult M. leidyi. The coefficient of linear correlation between the two variables is r2 = 0.95 (prob. < 0.001).
Figure 22.214.171.124: Distribution of the globally threatened seabird species occurring in the Black Sea and in the Caspian Sea (Yelkouan shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca and Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus)
Figure 126.96.36.199: (a) Area affected by hypoxia, redrawn from Zaitsev (1997), and locations of hypoxic records from the WOD database. (b) Extension of the surface affected by bottom hypoxia, as reported in the literature (Mee, 2006; UkrSCES, 2002) and simulated by the 3-D model (Capet et al., 2013).
Figure 188.8.131.52: Distribution of data collected during the last decades and available in the World Ocean data base. After 1995, no data has been collected in areas and during periods of occurrence of hypoxia.
Figure 184.108.40.206. Map of Alosa immaculata distribution in Danube River and marine area (Bulgarian part) (http://natura2000.moew.government.bg/PublicDownloads/Auto/SDF_REF_SPECIES/4125/4125_Species_102.pdf)
Figure 220.127.116.11. A. Spawning, feeding and overwintering grounds of anchovy in the Black Sea (upper: black arrows: overwintering, empty arrows: spawning migration; shaded area: overwintering; dots: spawning areas; taken from Ivanov and Beverton, 1985; B. lower: the Azov anchovy 1= spawning and foraging region; 2 = wintering region; 3 = spring migrations; 4 = autumnal migrations; 5 = periodical migrations of a mixed population. The Black Sea anchovy: 6 = spawning and foraging region; 7 = wintering region; 8 = spring migrations; 9 = autumnal migrations taken from Chashchin (1996) (in Gucu et al., 2016)
Figure 18.104.22.168. Results of ichthyoplankton survey conducted in July 2013 (a) density of anchovy (viable and non viable) eggs (b) live eggs only (advection accounted); (c) density of larvae;(d) percentage of live eggs (Gucu et al.,2016).
Figure 22.214.171.124. Anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, spring-summer, length groups (cm), sampling gear: uncovered pound net (FPO) - a; anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, autumn, length groups (cm), sampling gear: uncovered pound net (FPO) b (Raykov et al., 2016).
Figure 126.96.36.199. Sprat in GSA 29. Time-series of estimated and observed abundance-at-age and age-structured Bulgarian CPUE (best fit is given by linear relationships and r2 are displayed): (a) Age 1. (b) Age 2. (c) Age 3. (d) Age 4 (STECF, 2015)
Figure 188.8.131.52. Sprat in GSA 29. Time-series of estimated and observed abundance-at-age and age-structured Ukrainian CPUE (best fit is given by linear relationships and r2 are displayed): (a) Age 1. (b) Age 2. (c) Age 3. (d) Age 4.(STECF, 2015)
Figure 184.108.40.206. Sprat in GSA 29. Time-series of estimated and observed abundance-at-age and age-structured Turkish CPUE (best fit is given by linear relationships and r2 are displayed): (a) Age 1. (b) Age 2. (c) Age 3. (d) Age 4. (STECF, 2015)
Figure 220.127.116.11. F0.1 reference points of sprat: reference fishing mortality (a); reference yield per recruit, kg (b); reference SSB per recruit, kg (c); reference fishable biomass per recruit, kg (d); reference total biomass per recruit, kg (e)
Figure 18.104.22.168. Chart of summer migration of horse mackerel in Black and Azov seas after Aleev (1959). Legend: 1- south-western (Bosporic) shoal; 2- northern (Crimean) shoal; 3- eastern (Caucasian) shoal.
Figure 2.2.4: Historical Trend in Total Horsepower (Kw) in the Romanian Active Fleet. Source Eurostat. Data refers to the situation of the national fleets on the 31st of December of the reference year.
Figure 2.2.8.: Historical Trend in Total Tonnage (GT) in the Bulgarian Active Fleet. Source Eurostat. Data refers to the situation of the national fleets on the 31st of December of the reference year.
Figure 2.3.1. Oil and gas fields in Romanian waters with exploration and exploitation boundaries among different companies (http://www.roconsulboston.com/Pages/InfoPages/Businesspages/ExxonOMVGas.html)
Figure 3.2.3. Colour coded maps illustrating integral indices for BS coastal zones & catchments (1992 and 2015). Expansion of built-up areas in entire 10 km buffer is most obvious at south-eastern Black Sea coastline.
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State Oceanographic Institute, Moscow, Russia
The Black Sea, surrounded by the six coastal countries the Republic of Bulgaria (Bulgaria), Georgia, Romania, the Russian Federation (Russia), the Republic of Turkey (Turkey), and Ukraine. The location of the Black Sea Basin together with its climatic conditions has created a unique ecological system. Today, many of the Black Sea species are threatened by over-exploitation, habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. It reflects negatively on human well-being, social and economic sectors, and environmental services. By 1994, all Black Sea littoral states ratified the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution of the Black Sea (the Bucharest Convention).
Being the first regional and legally binding instrument signed by all six Black Sea littoral states, the Bucharest Convention serves as an overarching framework laying down the general requirements and the institutional mechanism for the protection of the marine environment of the Black Sea.
Concrete commitments are determined and dealt with in protocols to the Convention. Negotiations on three protocols have been concluded. They focus on the protection of the marine environment of the black sea from land-based sources and activities, cooperation in combating pollution of the black sea marine environment by oil and other harmful substances in emergency situations, the protection of the black sea marine environment against pollution by dumping.
At the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention, held in Istanbul, the Republic of Turkey, 2013, the Conference of Parties (COP) requested the preparation of the second State of the Environment (SoE) of the Black Sea Report for distribution among Parties. Pursuant to that and other related requests by Parties, the Permanent Secretariat of the Convention organized a meeting of the leaders of Working Groups, in Istanbul, the Republic of Turkey, 28-31 October 2015. The Meeting agreed that the Report to be based, inter alia, on reports and documentation developed by the Working Groups and adopted by the Permanent Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission Against Pollution during 2009 - 2014. The content and the outline of the Report and distribution of responsibilities were also agreed.
For the assessment of the Black Sea status during 2009-2014 and its comparison with the previous period several data sources were used. The major source of the chemical data is the joint Regional Database on Pollution (RDB-P) of the Black Sea Commission. Additional important sources of environmental information for the Assessment are the Annual State Reports to the Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission Working Groups Pollution Monitoring Assessment (PMA) and Land Base Sources (LBS).National scientific expeditions and environmental research activities also were used for the analysis of Sea condition and preparation of the assessment.
In the preparation of the report, due account was furthermore taken of other relevant scientific national and regional reports and publications and the development of a reporting format for the implementation of the Bucharest Convention and its Protocols. In order to increase the understanding and enhance the information on the state and trends of the marine environment of the Black Sea, there is a clear need to get a better insight about emerging environmental concerns.
The report summarizes the findings of the different assessments and includes existing updated figures. It is based on the latest information on policy and legislative measures, institutional setup, stakeholder engagement, future challenges and barriers to the improvement of the state of the environment in the region. The report is an effort to highlight the main trends in the marine and coastal environment of the Black Sea. It provides a gap analysis, showing the needs and requirements of the countries, individually and collectively, in the areas of monitoring, information collection and management related to policy, decision-making and implementation of the Bucharest Convention and its Protocols.
This report is based on materials and documents of the Permanent Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission Against Pollution, and does not reflect the official position of governments of the Black Sea states. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive analysis taking into account the consensus of all stakeholders and developed with their participation, but rather as a blueprint to help pave the way ahead, indicating what is needed to establish a monitoring network and programme capable of systematically measuring the state of the environment of the Black Sea, in light of the requirements of the Convention and its Protocols.
There are three chapters in the Report to reflect the state and dynamics of the Black Sea ecosystem, the state and dynamics of the living and non-living resources and their exploitation in the Black Sea region, and the state of the Black Sea coast and socio-economics.
It was suggested by the Meeting of the leaders of the Working Groups and coordinated by the PS BSC that the Report should focus on the scientific analysis of the Black Sea state.
The Report partially presents a regional picture reflecting the state of environment country by country but does not reflect the regional perspective.
Chapter 1 provides an overview of the Black Sea circulation and stratification characteristics, calculated characteristics of wind and waves, the Black Sea Water balance, chemical features, including nutrients dynamics and water and bottom sediments pollution, as well as land-based sources of pollution characterization.
The Chapter presents first the properties of the water column structure followed by the overall water balance and the long-term climatic variations. Finally, the circulation characteristics are summarized by emphasizing its energetic mesoscale variability. Based on the all available information related to the Black Sea circulation system it was suggested that the most notable quasi-persistent and/or recurrent features of the circulation system include (i) the meandering Rim Current system cyclonically encircling the basin, (ii) two cyclonic sub-basin scale gyres comprising four or more gyres within the interior, (iii) the Bosphorus, Sakarya, Sinop, Kizilirmak, Batumi, Sukhumi, Caucasus, Kerch, Crimea, Sevastopol, Danube, Constantsa, and Kaliakra anticyclonic eddies on the coastal side of the Rim Current zone, (iv) bifurcation of the Rim Current near the southern tip of the Crimea; one branch flowing southwestward along the topographic slope zone and the other branch deflecting first northwestward into the shelf and then contributing to the southerly inner shelf current system, (v) convergence of these two current systems near the southwestern coast, (vi) presence of a large anticyclonic eddy within the northern part of the northwestern shelf. All of these are well known characteristics of the Black Sea for decades, which means that despite of certain occasional variations in the vertical structure of the Black Sea ecosystem due to climatic or anthopogenic influence, the general hydrological and hydrophysical features of the Black Sea remain the same during the studied period.
Yet, the regime of wind waves in the Black Sea-Azov basin has a pronounced multiannual variability. This is most fully manifested in the regime of extreme sea swells. Usually strong storms with waves of more than 5 m heights are extremely rare on the Black Sea. Because of this, one or two strong storms can lead to the fact that a particular year will be perceived as a "stormy". This was 2013, when, according to calculations, wave heights of more than 5 m were recorded in the centre of the sea. A different picture was observed in 2015, when waves of more than 2 m heights were observed only in the south-west of the sea. For the mean wave heights for a year, the opposite picture was observed. The height of extreme waves for 2013-2015 decreased but average of the height of waves for the year grew. Changes in the wave regime over these years are characterized by a decrease in extreme storms and an increase in the average wave strengths.
The wave regime for 2013-2014 was characterized by an increase in the average for the year wave periods in the west part of the sea. The average wave periods in the open water areas in the western part of the sea was increased by one second over the year. In the eastern part of the sea, the situation remained within the limits of the climatic norm.
According to climatic data, the direction of wind wave on the Black Sea has a north-easterly direction for the western part of the sea. The northern direction of wind wave is typical for the central water area and the north-western, western and south-western for its eastern part. North-eastern sea swells dominated the northeast of the sea as well as in its west in 2014 and 2015. Generally, this type of sea swells was typical until the 60s of the 20th century, when the winter northeast wind dominated the entire north-western part of the sea. The border of this domination was along the line of Novorossiysk-Bosporus.
The Black Sea is a semi-enclosed sea, surrounded by many industrialized countries, with important shipping routes, various fisheries and touristic areas. In addition it has a dynamic surface circulation and hosts a large drainage basin. All of the above factors make the Black Sea a particularly sensitive area for marine litter pollution (BSC, 2007; UNEP, 2009). A large number of rivers discharge into the Black Sea, including the second, third and fourth longest rivers in Europe. It is well acknowledged that rivers transport large amounts of natural and anthropogenic debris from in-land sources to the ocean and coastal beaches (Rech et al., 2014) and it is proven that high a percentage of marine litter, including micro-plastics, are introduced by river currents to the Black Sea (Tuncer et al., 1998; Topu et al., 2013; BSC, 2007; Lechner et al. 2014).
This Chapter also provides a brief and easy understand information on waste water discharges from the riparian countries to the Black Sea and includes selected land based sources (LBS) data reported by the Black Sea (BS) countries for 2009-2015. According to the agreed classification, data were aggregated by countries. Municipal sources include discharges from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). Four indicators of municipal pollution sources were included in this report. The parameters are: BOD5, total Nitrogen (TN), total Phosphorus (TP), total Suspended Solids (TSS), and waste waters discharged into the Black Sea. These indicators were selected to keep the possibility to comparing of the conceivable impact of the riparian countries.
Chapter 1 presents also model assessment of HM and POPs atmospheric input to the Black Sea pollution for the period 2009-2014. Modelling of atmospheric transport and deposition of selected HMs and POPs, namely, Cd, Pb, Hg, and benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P), was carried out using MSC-E Eulerian transport models for Heavy Metals MSCE-HM (Travnikov and Ilyin, 2005) and for Persistent Organic Pollutants MSCE-POP (Gusev et al., 2005). Latest available official information on B(a)P emission from the EMEP countries was used in model simulations (Ilyin et al., 2016; Gusev et al., 2016).
The literature across international reports and scientific papers highlights that plastics are the most abundant type of marine litter worldwide. While plastic constitutes to around 75% of all litter items found in EU (Kershaw et al., 2013), the proportion found in both the Black seas seafloor and coastal environments increased up to 90% (Topu et al., 2013). Therefore, in accordance with global data, plastic waste has a worldwide predominance in the marine environment (Suaria et al., 2015). In regards to micro-plastics, the studies conveyed that the Black Sea is prone to micro-plastic accumulation, both in the pelagic and benthic habitats, which make it as a micro-plastic hotspot. In regards to the marine litter density, the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea each contain an extensive marine litter density relative to the rest of the Black Sea. It should also be highlighted that there are differences between each countries methodology and units when collecting and reporting marine litter densities; this makes it hard to compare the results between countries. There is therefore an urgent need for basin-wide surveys following similar observation techniques and to allow comparisons on marine litter composition and accumulation within and between countries. The majority of the marine litter data comes from coastal surveys followed by seabed studies. There were only two surveys focused on the presence of micro-plastics, one in Romania and one in Turkey. It is clear that all six Black Sea countries are on the pioneering stage of marine litter pollution management.
Analysis of the information collected from the annual reports of the riparian countries delivered by LBS AG and presentations delivered during 21st LBS AG meeting 89 September 2016 allowed to make the following conclusions about the content of the waste waters discharged into the Black Sea:
Bulgaria: there was an increasing tendency observed in the content of organic matters indicated in BOD5, total nitrogen, and suspended solids. At the same time, there was a decreasing tendency in the discharge of total phosphorous in the Bulgarian waste waters;
Georgia: the waste waters discharged into the Black Sea from LBSs almost tripled from 2008 to 2014 with the volume of untreated waters decreased up to 40% in 2014 as compared with 2009. There was an increasing tendency in concentration of total nitrogen and total organic matters with the decreasing tendency in total suspended solids in Georgian waste waters;
Romania: the volume of Romanian waste waters discharged into the Black Sea decreased by over 15% and the volume of untreated waters discharged into the Black Sea decreased almost by50% from 2008 to 2013. There was a decreasing tendency of content of total nitrogen and total suspended solids and an increasing tendency of total phosphorous and organic matters (BOD5);
Russian Federation: there was a decreasing tendency in the volume of total nitrogen, phosphorous, organic matters, and suspended solids in Russian waste waters;
Republic of Turkey: there was a substantial decrease of the volume of total discharge of pollutants in waste waters from Turkeys municipal source and there was a slight increasing tendency in BOD5, total suspended solids load, and total phosphorous, and visual increasing tendency in total nitrogen discharges in river waters;
Ukraine: the total nitrogen discharge had slight increasing tendency and discharge of total phosphorous and organic matters had decreasing tendency in Ukrainian waste waters. There were decreasing tendencies in the content of total phosphorous and organic matters and slight increasing tendency in total nitrogen in Ukrainian waste waters.
Dynamics and over the years changes of Nutrients (C, N, P, Si), as well as the Black Sea eutrophication, and pollution, in particular by oil and oil products, are discussed in Subchapter 2. It was noted that information about pollution was largely fragmented and in most of the cases was not comparable.
Chapter 2 assesses the marine living resources status for the period of 2009-2014 and compares with the earlier period to explain the changes occurred. It first informs on anadromous fishes, and then about pelagic fishes.
It was noted that the lack of sufficient information concerning fishing activity, catch quantities, composition and its impact on the current state of the fish stocks are the critical issues for the Black Sea region. It is due to the fact that there are different techniques were and currently are in place for recording, evaluating, controlling and monitoring of the fishing activities as well as a number of surveys of the current state of the fishing stocks performed.
The analysis of data collected shows that:
there is only one stock - sprat, which is considered sustainably exploited;
most of fish stocks in the Black Sea are overexploited to the extent that some of them are nearly to depletion.
Therefore, there is the need to put more efforts in recovery and sustainable development of the fishing stocks to targeted levels of abundance identified. Measures, being developed and implemented, could mitigate the impact of the fishing activities endangering reproductive capacity and jeopardizing the fish stocks (EC, 2009).
Main conclusions to Chapter 2 are that the Black Sea is indeed exposed to many threats that need to be addressed urgently. Overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, pernicious discarding practices, ghost fishing, marine pollution, uneven development of aquaculture and invasive species are the most important threats, although not the only ones. The declines of marine living resources were generated by: eutrophication (sources from agriculture, municipal waste, industry, etc.); harmful substances (sources from agriculture, industry, municipal waste, etc). In summary, the main causes for the Black Sea current status are hydraulic works; commercial fisheries; alien species; and climatic changes. Therefore, the causes of this situation are multiple, the independent effect of each being very difficult to be assessed:
The high value of the percentage of the species sprat and their constancy within the catches explain the high oscillations of the annual catches on the Romanian coast. These oscillations occur even more as the fishing is done in a restricted area of coast where the conditions of maintaining fish shoals are extremely variable;
The passive fishery uses pound nets and has suffered the strongest impact due to the change of the ecological conditions near the coast zone. Moreover, there are observations attesting the fish migration routes changed during the last 6-7 years. The fish has the tendency to remain in the offing, at a certain distance from the coast zone with the isobaths of 5-13 m where the pound nets are located;
The environmental conditions existing to the Romanian littoral allowed formation and maintaining of very large agglomerations of gelatinous species, especially jellyfish. Jelly fish and ctenophore agglomerations making difficult the trawl fishery on all hauling level in some years and periods;
Heavy fishing on small pelagic fish predominantly by the Soviet Union, and later also by Turkey, was carried out in a competitive framework without any agreement between the countries on limits to fishing. Depletion of the small pelagic stock appears to have led to increased opportunities for population explosion of planktonic predators (jelly fish and ctenophores) which have competed for food with fish, and preyed on their eggs and larvae;
The reduction of the fishing effort as a consequence of the economic changes occasioned by the transformation of the state capital into private capital;
The limitation of market demands for some periods of the year, mainly amplified by the fact that more than 90% of the production was delivered as salted fish;
The free market and imported products have caused the limitation of the traditionally prepared products and the reduction of their price until the limit of the profitableness (Radu et al., 2012).
Chapter 3 is devoted to the state of the coastal zone of the Black Sea and is based on the information presented annually by the Black Sea countries to the Permanent Secretariat of the Black Sea Commission Against Pollution for the period 2009 - 2013.
Economic activity at the coastal zone impacts on the state of the entire marine ecosystem. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration and discuss drivers, pressures, state, impact, and response analyzing the state of the Black Sea environment. Based on this approach the ICZM Advisory Group at its meeting decided to base its reports on general information of the Black Sea coastal zone as well as on data about population, including demographic trends, water and wastewater management, solid waste management, and information on protected areas. It was also decided that the Report should reflect coastal erosion, land use and economic activities.
Black Sea countries agreed that the Coastal Zone is the geomorphological area either side of the seashore in which the interaction between the marine and land parts occurs in the form of complex ecological and resource systems made up of biotic and abiotic components coexisting and interacting with human communities and relevant socio-economic activities..
Analysis of information available related to the State of the Coast and Socio-economics allows to draw the following conclusions:
1. Due to the lack of important information a deep analysis of the state of the coast was impossible. To overcome the problem, ICZM Advisory Group of the Black Sea Commission decided to introduce new indicators for assessment of the state of the Black Sea coast. They were tested and ICZM Advisory Group agreed to use these indicators for future activities.
2. Black Sea coast is the zone of many types of activities. The most part of the coastal zones in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine are used for agriculture. In Russia biggest part of the coast is covered by forest and protected.
3. The number of population in the coastal zone is growing in Bulgaria, Russia and Turkey and decreasing in Romania and Ukraine.
4. There is a sustainable growth in access to drinking water and sanitation in all countries.
5. There is an increase in the amount of municipal wastes. The number of landfills has increased in Romania, Turkey and has decreased in Russia and Bulgaria. There is only one incineration plant. It locates in Turkey.
6. Erosion of the coast is increasing. However, there are very few projects implemented to prevent it.
7. There are activities going on to improve protection of the coastal zone environment, including marine.
8. Since previous report the structure of economic activities was not changed. The leading sectors are tourism, food processing, agriculture and transport, including shipping.
9. Oil transshipment sufficiently impact on environment.