The Europaen Commission The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
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Report Contents

List of Tables List of Figures

Final ¨Diagnostic Report¨ to guide improvements to the regular reporting process on the state of the Black Sea environment, August 2010

2002 - 2007

Diagnostic Report to guide improvements to the regular reporting process on the state of the Black Sea environment

Section II: Monitoring, data flows to the BSC and indicators: Achievements and the bottlenecks

II.1. Monitoring

II.1.1. Regional monitoring

As mentioned above, the regional monitoring program BSIMAP (Fig. 1) is based on National monitoring programs, financed by the Black Sea states.

Figure 1. BSIMAP monitoring stations

Table 2. Number of national monitoring sites included in the BSIMAP, with an indication of spatial coverage

Territorial waters Pollution Hot Spots Sampling Sites reported Length of coast, km Average distance (km) represented per sampling site
Bulgaria 9 5 300 60
Georgia 6 5 310 62
Romania 5 21 (34 in the National Monitoring System) 225 17
Russian Federation 4 5 475 95
Turkey 10 3 (69 since 2007) 1400 466 (20 since 2005)
Ukraine 9 14 1628 116

Note: In 2009 Turkey reported 69 stations, Romania 34.

There is no financial assistance for the monitoring in the Black Sea foreseen in the budget of the BSC. The BSC supports inter-comparison exercises (QUASIMEME), elaboration of guidelines to assure compatibility of data - harmonization of sampling techniques, methods of processing of samples and calculation of indicators.

II.1.2. National monitoring systems status quo, gaps in data collected

Each state decides how many and which stations annually can be observed in the frames of the National Monitoring Program, what should be the frequency of sampling and which of the stations will be reported at the regional level. BSIMAP provides recommendations on parameters, frequency and methodologies. For measurements in water - at least 4 times per year is recommended in BSIMAP. For sediments and benthic communities once or twice per year at least. Contamination in biota once per year at least.  Oceanographic parameters, nutrients, plankton and Mnemiopsis (or other exotic species) monthly sampling recommended. It is also advised to have stations in impacted and undisturbed areas (reference stations) for the purpose of comparison, in transitional, coastal and marine waters. The monitoring is expected to be integrated, regular and sustained at the same stations in time and space.

Table 3. Compliance with BSIMAP recommendations in 2000-2010 in Black Sea SoE monitoring

Item/State Bulgaria Georgia Romania Russian Federation Turkey Ukraine
National Monitoring SystemAvailable Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Responsible Institutions[6] Ministry of Environment and Water Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development Ministry of Natural Resources Ministry of Environment and Forestry Ministry of Environment al Protection
Reporting Institutions (agreed and regular reporting) Basin Directorate - Varna, Environment Agency - Sofia, Institute of Oceanology-Varna, Institute of Fishery Varna National Environmental Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and                    Natural Resources of Georgia together with its branch in Ajara (Black Sea             Monitoring Center).  National Institute for Marine Research and Development
Roshydromet, (GOIN-Moscow,  Azov Sea Institute of the Fishery Problems-Rostov;
and Shirshov Institute-Moscow)
Istanbul University(Institute of Maritime Sciences and Management), Ministry of Agriculture Fishery Agency Ukrainian Ecological center, Institute of Southern Seas-Odessa, Kerch Fishery Institute (YugNIRO Institute) , Ecological Inspection-Odessa                        
Recommended frequency of observations observed No No Yes Not for all parameters No Not always
Integrated national monitoring assured No No Yes No Recently assured No
Mandatory parameters observed No No Yes No Yes Yes
Transitional, Coastal, Marine stations observed No No Yes No Yes Not always
Reference stations available No No Yes No Yes Not mentioned
Financial assistance provided sufficiently and timely No No Problems appeared in 2009 Unknown size and time of funding (- State budget of Roshydromet, budget of local authorities of the towns of Sochi and Tuapse, business) Yes Not always
Is R/V available for the national monitoring No Yes, but small and old Yes, small and old Hydromet uses boats, as all stations are coastal Very old vessel of the Istanbul University Yes, but not in a good state
Bathing waters monitoring properly organized Yes Yes (partly) Yes Yes Yes Yes

II.1.2.1. Bulgaria

National Institutions involved: Basin Directorate, Environmental Agency (MoEW), Instituteof Oceanology (Varna), Institute of Fisheries (Varna), Maritime Administration.

The National monitoring system is in a poor state during the last years since 2006 sampling campaigns are carried out twice per year (in Spring and Summer). Samples are collected at 5 stations only (maximum), 1-mile zone offshore in front of Shabla, in Varna Bay, Obzor, Bourgas and Achtopol (Fig. 2). Biological monitoring is carried out by the Institute of Oceanology Varna, in no parallel with the hydrochemical monitoring of the Environmental Agency.

The Ministry of Environment and Water does not possess an appropriate sea vessel so currently the monitoring is carried out on contract based cooperation with other institutions.


Figure 2. Map of sampling stations in Bulgarian Black Sea waters.

II.1.2.2. Georgia

National institutions involved: National Environmental Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia together with its branch in Ajara (Black Sea Monitoring Center-Batumi). LBS Ministry of Environment; ESAS Ministry of Transport.

Financial assistance is not provided by the government, but in the frames of different projects. In 2001-2006 - limited studies in terms of spatial and temporal coverage. In 2007 and 2008 monitoring and reporting were organized in a more efficient way. However, water column parameters were monitored whereas there was no monitoring of sediments and biota contamination.

Biology is reported by the Monitoring Center in Batumi.

II.1.2.3. Romania

National institutions (laboratories) involved: National Institute for Marine Research and Development (NIMRD-Constanta) under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. ESAS Ministry of Transport.

The National Programme has a good spatial and temporal coverage with 34 sampling stations, at standard depths and being performed 4 times per year.

List of monitored parameters and matrices is almost complete being;

Water - temperature, Secchi depth, salinity, dissolved oxygen, saturation %, BOD5 , nutrients: NO2, NO3, NH4, TON, PO4, SiO4, TOC, total hydrocarbons, trace metals,                    pesticides, PAH, phytoplankton, total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Streptococcus                   fecalis.

Sediments total hydrocarbons, trace metals, pesticides, PAH, macrozoobenthos.

Biota - total hydrocarbons, trace metals, pesticides, PAH


Figure 3. Map of monitoring stations in Romanian Black Sea waters.

II.1.2.4. Russian Federation

National monitoring is sustained by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Biological investigations, contamination of biota and sediments are not part of the routine monitoring. ESAS Ministry of Transport, Fishery - AzNIIRKH. Organizations of ROSHYDROMET performing the national monitoring under the supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources are:

Table 4. ROSHYDROMET organizations and their responsibilities in the national monitoring system of the Russian Federation

Organization City Function
1  Special Centeron Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of Environment of the Black and Azov Seas(SCHME BAS) of North-Caucasus Regional Division of Roshydromet.  Sochi  Sampling, processing, initial analyses, data stored in the Russian State Data Fond
2 TYPHOON Obninsk Processing of water and sediment samples (hazardous substances)
3 North-Caucasus Regional Centerof Hydrometeorology Rostov Management of monitoring
4 All Russian Institute of Hydrometeorology-World Data Center Obninsk Data holder
5 State Oceanographic Institute Moscow Preparation of analytical materials, Management, Data holder, Analyses of data, Publication of Annual report 
6 Institute of Global Climate and Ecology Moscow Operational information in cases of extreme

Standard hydrological, hydrochemical (incl. nutrients) parameters and contaminants are monitored in sea water in 6 areas between Tuapse and Sochi since 1992.

Анапа Новороссийск

Геленджик Туапсе



Figure 4. Maps of stations monitored by the Centers in Tuapse (1-5)  and Sochi (last scheme) in Russian Black Sea waters.


II.1.2.5. Turkey

Instituteof Marine Sciences and Management of Istanbul University carries out the national monitoring under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. 69 stations are monitored two times per year since 2005. LBS Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF); ESAS MoEF and Ministry of Transport; Fishery Ministry of Agriculture.

List of monitored parameters and matrices are almost complete being:

water- temperature, Secchi depth, salinity,  dissolved oxygen, oxygen saturation %, BOD5, nutrients NO2, NO3, NH4, TON, PO4, SiO4, TOC, TSS, total petroleum hydrocarbons, trace metals, pesticides, Chlorophyll-a, PAH, detergents, phytoplankton, total coliforms, fecal coliforms, Streptococcus fecalis

sediments total hydrocarbons, trace metals, PAH, macrozoobenthos,

biota -  trace metals

Figure 5. Map of sampling stations in Turkish Black Sea waters.

II.1.2.6. Ukraine

National Institutions involved in national monitoring:

        UkrSCES - the Ukrainian Scientific Centerof Ecology of the Sea, MoEP

        SABSI State Ecological Inspection of Azov and Black Seas, MoEP

        SEINWRBS - State  Ecological Inspection of  Environmental Protection of the Black Sea's North-West region, MoEP

Fishery - YugNIRO, Kerch, Crimea (Southern Scientific Research. Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography).

The Programme is annually supported and biological investigations are included. The biological monitoring is carried out by the Institute of Southern Seas Odessa which is not organized in parallel with the hydrochemical investigations. Biological data concerning for the N-W part is reported, data from Crimea and other UA waters are not made available.

Figure 6. Map of sampling stations in Ukrainian Black Sea waters.

The stations given on the map are not regularly supported during each year. For instance, the map for 2008 looks in a different way and only the stations of the Odessa Ecological Inspection (they cover the region of the city of Odessa, nearby hot spots situated) are sustained on an annual basis and reported. Other UA waters are not reported. This kind of data is compiled in the Marine Branch of the Ukrainian Hydro-Meteorological Institute (MB UHMI) Sevastopol.

Monitoring at defined stations network is carried out by the UA ecological inspections on a monthly basis (or as otherwise stated below) since 2003 and less frequently before that. A full set of hydrochemical parameters, including contaminants in water are monitored. Contaminants in biota and sediments are not included in the Programme.

In addition, MB UHMI Sevastopol is in position to compile data from all ecological inspection stations in Ukraine these stations (of SABSI and SEINWRBS) are annually reported in the Marine Water Pollution Annual Report of the State Oceanographic Institute (SOI) Moscow. The stations monitored are in most affected by human activities areas (hot spots):

        In front of the rivers Danube, Suhoi Liman (nearby Ilichevsk), river South Bug and Bugskii Liman, Odessa port, Yalta monthly observations;

        Ilichevsk town once per two months;

        In the branches of the Danube river April-September;

        Dniepr Liman April-November.


Summary: National monitoring activities in the Black Sea states are supported by Ministries of Environment. Other Ministries, such as Ministry of Education, Agriculture, Transport and Academies of Science support problem-oriented monitoring in the frames of different projects. Ministries of Agriculture are responsible for fisheries investigations (stock assessments, catches, fishing fleets, etc.) and Ministries of Transport support/supervise most of the investigations related to environment safety aspects of shipping.

Reasons for gaps in BSIMAP: The main reasons can be listed, as follows:

  • Poor financial assistance;
  • National strategy does not foresee the monitoring as integrated;
  • Lack of expertise, lack of equipment, old research vessels;

 The monitoring/observation activities of most important Black Sea scientific Institutions data holders which do not report or report not in full to BSIS are listed further. Thus, almost all data described in Section II.3 stay outside of the official reporting to the BSC. The latter is presented in II.2.

II.2. Data flow to the BSC

Regularity and quality of data collected in BSIS since 2001 are presented in detail in Section II.6 in terms of suitability of data for calculating indicators.

Overall, the reporting of BS states improved considerably during the last years, the quality of submitted data became higher and the gaps in data flow less significant. The table below gives a very general overview of the BS states official reporting:

Table 5. Official data reporting to BSIS

Item/State BG RO GE RU TU UA
How many Institutions are responsible for reporting? 7 3 6 7 3 5
Major gaps in reporting Pollution data water, sediments, biota No gaps Pollution data water, sediments, biota; Biodiversity and Fishery data Biodiversity and Fishery data; Pollution in sediments and biota Biodiversity data Pollution in sediments and biota
Major reason for gaps in reporting Poor coordination N/A Financial Poor coordination Poor coordination Financial
Quality of data good excellent good good excellent since 2005 excellent
How can be the reporting improved? By improved coordination between Ministries  and by stable financial assistance for monitoring N/A By stable financial assistance for monitoring By improved coordination between Ministries, Agencies and simplified organization of monitoring  By improved coordination between MoEF and scientific institutions By stable financial assistance for monitoring
Can the data be used for scientific ecosystem analyses in TDA and SoE reports? Only for independent analyses of water quality, biodiversity, etc., with no ecosystem approach Yes Only for independent analyses of water quality, biodiversity, etc., with no ecosystem approach Only for independent analyses of water quality, fishery, etc. with no ecosystem approach Only for independent analyses of water quality, fishery, etc. with no ecosystem approach Only for independent analyses of water quality, biodiversity, fishery, etc., with no ecosystem approach
Can the data be used for SAP IR? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Reasons for gaps in BSIS: In general, there are two major reasons for poor reporting to BSIS data are not available at all (they have not been collected due to one or another reason, basically the reason is financial, next and related to the previous poor state of the Research Vessels, lack of equipment and lack of trained personal) or data are available, but due to poor inter-ministerial mechanism they cannot be obtained by the Focal Points. Besides, the Focal Points have no dedicated time in their ToRs officially to work for the Black Sea Commission. For them it is always an extra and completely voluntary work without many incentives.

II.3. Data outside of the official reporting

(for more details see Annex I and III)

The Black Sea directory of Marine Organisations is based on EDMO - European Directory of Marine Organisations ( EDMO contains up-to-date addresses and activity profiles of research institutes, data holding centres, monitoring agencies, governmental and private organisations, that are in one way or another engaged in oceanographic and marine research activities, data & information management and/or data acquisition activities. Currently, full Black Sea EDMO list contains around 170 organisations, the important data-holders are listed further.

Availability of data in major data-holders (listed further by country) and outside of the official reporting is overviewed to the best of the BSC and experts from the BSC AGs knowledge. Special attention is given to chlorophyll_a, nutrients, fishery, climate change, hazardous substances in biota and biodiversity data. The meta data provided for this report by the listed data owners is summarised in Section II. 6 of this Report.

The BSC web site shows links to the following important data bases in the BS region, existing outside of BSIS (see Their data sets have not been evaluated for suitability to calculate indicators. Other important links are given in Annex I.

Physical Oceanography

1. NATO SfP Black Sea Database. Database includes all main physical, chemical and biological variables for the entire Black Sea basin for the period 1954 - 1996 and serves as a base line for contemporary and future research activities and management purposes in the region.

2. National Oceanographic Data Centre of Ukraine (NODC). The Oceanographic Data Base of Marine Hydrophysical Institute includes more than 114 thousand hydrological for period 1890-2007. It contains all the data for the Black Sea which were obtained by MHI and other Ukrainian organizations. Open this link for data access and choose "Select Data" menu.

3. World Ocean Database 2009. WOD-2009 is the largest, most comprehensive collection of scientific information about the oceans with records dating as far back as 1800. Black Sea data can be retrieved using WOD Select and Search tool or downloaded from section Geographically sorted data (for Black Sea region select data from WMO squares 1402-1404).

4. Common Data Index (CDI) data access service at the SeaDataNet portal. CDI provides access to individual datasets (such as samples, timeseries, profiles, trajectories, etc) of members of the SeaDataNet infrastructure, which combines informational resources of 40 national oceanographic data centres and marine data centres from 35 countries riparian to all European seas. The process of data retrieval is organized in search&shop way and is explained in details at the CDI webpage. User registration is mandatory, and user access to data depends on obtained user license.

5. Oceanographic Database of the Hellenic National Oceanographic Data Centre.

Black Sea Observations at the MyOcean Project website.


Modeling and Forecast

1. European Costal Sea Operational observing and Forecasting System (ECOOP). The Project products are:

2. Salto / Duacs Black Sea Near-Real-Time Sea Level Anomalies.

3. Sea Temperature and Current velocity. The project FP7-SPACE-2007-1: My Ocean-WP10-BS.

4. 3-day weather forecast over the Black Sea. MM5 v.3.7 mesoscale model.

5. Black Sea Physics Analysis and Forecast at the MyOcean Project website



1. SeaDataNet climatologies:

2. Climatic atlas for the Black Sea at the website of National Oceanographic Data Centre of Ukraine.

3. Black Sea product SeaDataNet. Black Sea Climatic maps and fields prepared for in-situ physical parameters and characteristics of O2-H2S interaction zone. Averaged maps and fields of sea surface parameters obtained from satellite data.

4. Climatic Atlas of the Black Sea produced at the National Oceanographic Data Center of Russian Federation (in Russian).

5. Oceanographic Atlas of the Black Sea:


Satellite data and images

1. GIOVANNI - Ocean Color Radiometry Online Visualization and Analysis. Global Monthly Products (Chlorophyll, water-leaving radiance, SST, etc).

2. OceanColor web (Chlorophyll, water-leaving radiance, SST, etc).

3. Marine portal National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU). SST from NOAA satellites, Chlorophyll. Note: data are accessible upon registration.


Biology & Ecosystem

1. Black Sea Zooplankton Checklist

2. Black Sea Phytoplankton Checklist

3. Black Sea species in the FishBase

4. Rapana venosa in the Black Sea at the Global invasive spesies database

5. Mnemiopsis leidyi database

6. Black Sea Ecosystem information at the Sea Around Us Project website.

Major Data-holders in the Black Sea region:

II.3.1. Bulgaria

1. Instituteof Oceanology Bulgarian Academyof Sciences, Varna (IO-BAS)


The data base of the Institute contains data from regular hydrological/hydrochemical (since 1975) and biological investigations (since 1991) carried out in Bulgarian Black Sea waters on a regular basis. Chlorophyll_a and macroalgal communities meta data (full inventories) were delivered for the period 2000-2009 and examples are presented in Annex III. The Institute is the National Oceanography Data Center.


Figure 7. Map of sampling stations observed by IO-BAS in Bulgarian Black Sea waters

In 2001-2009 nutrients were monitored by IO-BAS at 3 transects: in front of Cape Kaliakra, CapeGalata and Burgas Bayand occasionally in front of Shabla and Maslen Cape. The most regular observations are available at CapeGalata. Inventory of cruises is presented in Annex  III.

2. Instituteof Fishing Resources, Varna (IFR-Varna)

The data base of the Institute contains long-term data on nutrients, biota (all trophic levels, except macroalgae) and fishery. Along the Bulgarian coast (up to 30 miles offshore), Capes Kaliakra, Galata and Emine, Burgas Bay, Varna Bayand Varna lakes have been regularly monitored since 1953 up to now. Monitoring was held seasonally in 1953-2005 and since 2005 randomly. Most regular monitoring was held in Varna Bay and in front of Cape Galata.

The Instituteof Fishery, within the Project daNUbs (see Annex II), collected full set of organic and inorganic nutrients, chlorophyll was regularly measured by CTD in 2001-2004.

Maps of sampling stations are presented below:







Figure 8. Map of sampling stations monitored by IFR-Varna in Bulgarian Black Sea waters: (1) transects Kaliakra (1), Galata (2), Emine (3); Bourgas Bay(second figure).


Fig . Map of Varna Lakesand Varna Bay.

Figure  9. Map of Varna/Beloslav Lakes and Varna Bay

3. Central Laboratory of Ecology, Sofia (CLOE)

Regular investigations were held in Sozopol Bay (not far from the city of Bourgas) seasonally in1993-2009. Nutrients and chlorophyll were measured.

Figure 10. Map of sampling stations observed by CLOE in Bulgarian Black Sea waters

II.3.2. Georgia: There is no data source different from BSIS.

II.3.3.  Romania

In the BSC BSIS the Romanian data as frequency of observations and stations (agreed for reporting) is fully presented, in general. They have additionally daily stations at Sulina and Constanta monitored monitored by NIMRD-Constanta as follows:

         Sulina station
since 1980 - phosphates, silicates, oxygen
since 1981 - ammonium
since 1988 - nitrates, nitrites
        Constanta station 
since 1959 - temperature, salinity, oxygen
since 1960 - phosphates, silicates
since 1976 - NO3, NO2
since 1980 - NH4
        East Constanta transect
between 1963 - 1980 - (5 station per transect monthly) - temperature, salinity, oxygen, PO4, SiO4, NO3, NO2, NH4. The sampling on this transect was seasonal in 1980  1985. Since 1986 the transect has depended on different projects, therefore it is not always regularly observed.

Measurements of organic nitrogen started in 2006, available data in BSIS for 2006-2008.

Chlorophyll a: 
        Nato Database - January 1976   August 1979  transect Sulina, Sf. Gheorghe, Portita, Constanta from surface and 10m layer, discontinuous data; 
        COMS Black project:                   - March 1995  Mila 9, Constanta; April 1995  Sulina, Mila 9, Zaton, Chituc, Constanta; 
        DANUBS project  2001  2003  from north to south in the shelf waters. Since 2004  till present  Chl is measured at all coastal and transitional stations of the Romanian national monitoring system, from March to October.

2. GeoEcoMar

The Institute performs investigations in Romanian waters, marine geology and sedimentology, geo-ecology, bio-chemistry, physics, and others. Detail information can be provided upon request.

II.3.4. Russian Federation

1. Southern Branch of Shirshov Institute of oceanology RAS- Gelendzhik

The data base of the institute contains data on hydrological and hydrochemical observations.

Permanent station (in the vicinity of the city of Gelendzhik) - regular observations of all organic and inorganic nutrients, 2-4 times per month in 2001 2009. In 2003-2005, standard hydrological/hydrochemical monitoring was held on a weekly basis at other selected points around Gelendzhik as well (two times per year (winter and summer) surveys were carried out in the whole Gelendjik Bay). List of parameters (standard hydrology/hydrochemistry) includes: temperature, dissolved oxygen, BOD5, alkalinity, pH, phosphorus phosphate, and total P, silicon, nitrogen, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, urea, organic nitrogen. In 2005-2009, the frequency of sampling was 2 times per month.


Additionally, there is a large array of data in the north-eastern part of the Black Sea and a more or less regularly observed transect up to 100-mile off Gelendzhik to the center of the Sea, under the implementation of a program with standard hydrochemistry (regular), and organics measured rarely. Total in Gelendzhik the hydrochemical data base includes 1210 stations (Fig. 11) observed in the period 1984 - 2008.










Figure 11. Map of sampling stations in the Eastern, Central and Western Black Sea, observed by the P.P.Shirshov Institute of oceanology RAS (Gelendzhik )

2. Shirshov Institute, Moscow

The Shirshov Integrated monitoring has the main aim to study:

         Meso-scale hydro-physical processes in near shore area

         Fine structure of hydrochemistry of oxygen depletion zone

         Phytoplankton variations in time and space

         Zooplankton studies with special references to invasive ctenophores Beroe and Mnemiopsis abundance and distribution

         Investigations on long-term changes in benthic communities

Cruises, including open sea areas have been performed on a relatively regular basis in the period 2001-2009 and before (Annex I).


Figure 12. Map of sampling area covered by the Shirshov Institute of oceanology and the standard monitoring transect in front of Gelendzhik  (second figure)

The standard transect is situated offshore from the city of Gelendzhik toward the center of the north-eastern part of the Black Sea. The distance from shore varies in different cruises from 5 to 100 miles depending on the weather conditions and vessel capacity.

Regular monthly observations on phytoplankton communities (and chlorophyll) are carried out in the Russian shelf area since 2005. The sampling site is at 2 miles offshore (50 m depth) in front of Gelendzhik. R/V Ashamba is used for collecting of phytoplankton samples. Hydrohysical and standard hydrochemical parameters (+ all nutrients) are also included in the monitoring. Normally, sampling is carried out on a monthly basis, from March to December.

Regular two times a year  observations on zooplankton communities  have been performed  in the Russian shelf area since 1993 at the R/V Akvanavt and R/V Ashambain front of Gelendzhik and in entire northeastern Black Sea. Hydrophysical and in some cruises standard hydrochemical obresvation have been carried out.


3. Novorossiysk educational and research marine biological center

Traditional water quality parameters are measured,  including рН, dissolved O2, H2S, methane, BOD5, suspended solids, detergents, trace metals (Al, Cd, Cu, Cr, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn), Arsenic, TPH, pesticides, phenols. Macroalgae and seagrasses are also investigated. Chlorophyll-a is not measured.


Figure 13. Map of sampling points in the Novorossiysk Bayand along the Russian coast

4. AzNIIRKH-Rostov

Parameters observed during all cruises are nutrients, contamination of biota (TPH, PAHs), macroalgae, seagrasses, etc. This is a comprehensive monitoring activity held in the period of 1999-2009 3 times per year; spring, summer and autumn at more than 250 transects and about 1300 stations in all four areas seen on the map below (See also Annex III).  

Figure 14. Map of sampling stations in the Black and Azov Seas.

In Russian Federation there are also other organizations/Agencies involved in a routine monitoring outside of Roshydromet or Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) system. Some of them are:  

  1. Yujmorgeologia / Rosnedra, MNR. Gelendjik, sediments pollution.
  2. Black-Azov SeasDirectorate inspection of seas/ Rosprirodnadzor, MNR. Novorosiysk, water pollution.
  3. AzNIIRKH / Rosribolovstvo, MNR. Rostov, biological resources.
  4. Lukoil / Private company. Water pollution, incl. standard hydrochemistry

II.3.5. Turkey

1.  Institute of Marine Sciences / Middle East Technical University, Erdemli-Mersin (IMS/METU)

IMS/METU meta data information is extractable from

Relevant large integrated projects of IMS/METU (cruises carried out/data compiled) were: of ISKI (1986-1994; regular), TUBITAK (1990-2000, less regular) and SESAME Project (2007-2008).

Full set of stations are presented for 1986-2008 as:

Figure 15. Map of sampling stations observed by IMS/METU in Turkish Black Sea waters.


2. Instituteof Marine Sciences and Management / İstanbul University, İstanbul

Ongoing water quality monitoring in the Straitof Istanbul (Bosphorus) area since 1996 is carried out in the context of long-term project of ISKI (1996-2009). Cruises have been performed regularly once per month in the vicinity of the Strait of Istanbul. There is one station at the Black Sea-Bosphorus junction which is a time series station covered also by previous studies  of IMS/METU.

3. Sinop University, Department of Hydrobiology

Meta data from Sinop Bayand coastal area are provided to the BSC (see Annex III).  
Complex monitoring was designed as a time-series study, however, sustained only by short-term TUBITAK projects, therefore, needs special attention to operate it in the long-term. Monitoring has been held almost monthly since 1998 collecting hydrochemical and chlorophyll data sets, also phytoplankton, zooplankton and macrozoobenthic data sets.  
At present, this data set is part of the National Data Inventory ( and BS SCENE UP-GRADE (FP7) and SeaDataNet (FP6) Projects.        

Figure 16. Map of sampling stations in the vicinity of Sinop

II.3.6. Ukrainian data

1.      Instituteof Biology of Southern Seas, Sevastopol

The data base of the Institute contains a huge stock of various oceanographic data collected in the Black Sea for the last 135 years. These datasets are exceptionally valuable as, in addition to biological data on the species level, they include hydrophysical, hydrochemical, and other environmental variables including unique parameters (in situ bioluminescence, e.g.).

IBSS Databases online (

         Multidiscipline historical data base of the Black Sea (NATO ODBMS online version, released in 2003);

         A Global Plankton Database: An Inventory and Data From the Former Soviet Union Expeditions (online version, released in 2005);

         NMFS-COPEPOD: the global plankton database

         IBSS data in MedOBIS;

         IBSS data in World Ocean Database

IBSS regular monitoring in Crimea coastal waters for nutrients and Chlorophyll is carried out at stations presented in Fig. 17.


Figure 17. Map of regular (●) and episodical (▲) studies of parameters of the environment in the coastal zone of Crimea performed by the Department of Applied Oceanology and Aquaculture,  IBSS NASU (Ukrainian National Academy of Science).

Details about frequency and areas of observations during the last 10 years are provided in Annex III. Meta data (full inventories of nutrients, chlorophyll, macroalagae and seagrasses) are available, can be provided upon request.

2.      Odessa University

The Island of Zmeiniy (North-Western Part of the Black Sea, Ukraine) area has been studied by the Odessa Universityfor temperature, salinity, oxygen and sea level on a daily basis in 2004-2009. Chlorophyll a,b,c, phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria and nutrients (P and N compounds) have been measured every 5 days in 2004-2008 and every 10 days in 2008-2009 (March-December) - at two depths: 0 m and 8 m. Recently fish investigations have been started.

Meta data is available through and .

Coordinates of the investigated area:




- profiles of seasonal observations Z1 Z6

- location and numbers of station 1 7

-5- - -35- - isobaths, m

ZPr station of regular (routine) monitoring of coastal water,

Z at atmospheric monitoring site

Figure 18. Sampling locations around the Islandof Zmeiniy in 2004-2009: UA, external data.

Additionally, 40 stations around the Island (distance from 50 to 300 m off the Island), approximately once per season with the same list of parameters (as mentioned above) are monitored: at surface and bottom (the depths vary from 5 to 30 m at different stations).

3.      Sevastopol Marine Hydrophysical Institute (MHI, Sevastopol) National Oceanography Data Center.

The Institute performs investigations on climate change indicators, nutrients, satellite observations and others. The Oceanographic Data Base of the Marine Hydrophysical Institute includes more than 114 thousand hydrological records for the  period 1890-2007.

The cruises of the Institute in the Black Sea, covering coastal and marine waters, are listed in Annex  III.

In 2006-2008 the Institute carried out 6 cruises in Sevastopol Bay, 36 stations in each cruise and collected hydrological, hydrophysical and nutrients data.

4. YugNIRO Institute, Kerch, Crimea, Ukraine (Southern Scientific Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography)

Regular observations in Ukrainian waters, including fisheries (the Institute reports all UA fishery data to BSIS) are held. Detail information could be provided upon request.

II. 4. Project related monitoring and data bases created in the Black Sea region since 2001

In the European Directory of Marine Environmental Research Projects ( 292 projects are listed for the last 10 years to have taken place in the Black Sea, though a few projects are double-reported (such as SESAME, ARENA, e.g.). Other inventory can be found at:

There is no full inventory of all projects (EC, NATO, UN, private) which have taken place in the Black Sea during the last 20 years, since the Bucharest Convention was signed and the cooperation in the region was progressively increasing.  This is one of the important gaps in the region not knowing the exact number of projects, their funding, what they produced and where the products are kept. Undoubtedly, all of the projects collected data (historical or during cruises, bibliography, etc.).

Some of the most important projects of the Black Sea Commission are presented in Annex I with a concise overview of their activities, cruises (if any) and data collected (if any).

The cruise summary reports in SeaDataNet (  list 179 cruises in the period 2000-2010 in the Black Sea, carried out on board of different vessels (Akvanavt Russian Federation, Shirshov Institute; Prof. Valkanov Bulgaria, IFR-Varna; Academic Bulgaria, IO-BAS-Varna; and many others). Each cruise is described in detail in SeaDataNet: area of observation, parameters observed, etc.

II.5. Quality control/assurance

Explored regional options QUASIMEME, IAEA exercises, or regionally organized inter-comparisons. The latter are carried out in support to the sampling and processing methodologies harmonization in the Black Sea region (e.g. nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, TPH, etc.). In BSIS the data quality checks are under the responsibility of the reporting Institutions[7]. Some projects, such as SESAME (see Annex I) include in their work programs inter-calibration and inter-comparison exercises.

The project UPGRADE Black Sea SCENE (, see Annex I) deals with elaboration of Black Sea Guidelines for QC/QA in biology and hydrochemistry.

II.6. Suitability of data for calculating indicators

In order to review the suitability of BSIS and other (external) data for calculating EEA indicators, BSC indicators as agreed today and MSFD GES Descriptors and wider assessments (Annex I and III) a common table of indicators is established - Table 13 (See section III).

II.6.1 Nutrients

Long-term winter upper 10 m nutrient (NO3+NO2-N, PO4-P) data has been accepted as major eutrophication EEA CSI. Winter has been accepted as the most enriched period of surface waters with nutrients as a consequence of seasonal mixing. In the Black Sea, besides seasonal mixing effect, large river inputs in spring also enrich the surface waters with nutrients (SoE, 2008). Therefore, the available data in BSIS have been examined for both seasons in the transitional, coastal and marine waters and see if they are suitable for aggregation and temporal trends (Table 6). Winter months are considered as December-February and spring as March-May. Worth to add that, it is almost always the case to find data for other seasons if there is data in winter and spring in a year. 
External data sources were also searched for since nutrients are widely measured in different monitoring systems in the Black Sea basin. Meta data reports obtained from country experts presented in Section II.2 and in Annex III are summarized as external data (Table 6). 

Table 6. Availability of nutrient data in BSIS and external data sources.

RO BSIS Indicator name Years No of sts in Transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2001 10 / 18     1996-2007       Available from graphical presentation in 2007 RO National report
2002 n.a/ 20    
2003 n.a/ 16 n.a/ 9  
2004 n.a/ 19 n.a/ 9  
2005 n.a/ 19 n.a/ 9  
2006 n.a/ 16 n.a/ 9    
2007 n.a/ 23 n.a/ 3    
2008 n.a./ 29      
Sulina- daily PO4 1980- onwards 1/1    
NO3+NO2 1988- onwards 1/1    
Constanta daily PO4 1960- onwards   1/1  
NO3+NO2 1976- onwards   1/1  
East Constanta transect- monthly NO3+NO2         PO4 1963-1980   5/5  
East Constanta transect- seasonal NO3+NO2         PO4 1980-1985   5/5  
Not regular NO3+NO2         PO4 After 1985   5/5  
GE Indicator name Years No of sts in transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2007 n.a/ 5     x
2008 n.a/ 7      
UA Indicator name Years No of sts in transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2001   n.a/ 3 n.a / 2 2003-2008
2002   n.a/ 3 n.a / 3  
2003 1 /n.a 3 / 3 2 / 3  
2004   3 / 3 2 / 3  
2005 2 /n.a 2 / 4 2 / 2  
2006   3 / 3 3 / 3  
2007   9 / 9 2 / 2  
2008   4 / 4 2 / 2  
External Sevastopol coast- monthly NO3+NO2         PO4 1999-2005   15 / 15  
 2000-2009   2 / 2  
2002-2009   1 / 1  
2004-2009   1 / 1  
Balaklava Bayand nearby   2000-2009   4 / 4  
2004-2009   5 / 5  
Laspi Bay(historical)   1983-1986   8 (not regular)  
Laspi Bay-monthly 2007-2009   3 / 3  
Karadag, Koktebel Bay(seasonal?)   2004-2009   7 / 7  
2004-2006   3 / 3  
2007-2009   5 / 5  
Sevastopol Bay   1998-2008   33    
Island of Zmeiniy (every 5-10 days)   2004 - 2009   6 / 6  
BG BSIS Indicator name Years No of sts in transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2001   5 / 5   2001-2007
2002   5 / 4    
2003   5 / 5    
2004   n.a/n.a    
2005   5 / 3    
2006   5 / 5    
2007   1 / 4    
2008   n.a/ 1    
ExternalIO-BAS (Varna Bay, Capes Galata and Emine) .   2001   5/n.a 8/n.a.
  2002   6/6 9/9
  2003   n.a/6 n.a./9
  2004   n.a/n.a n.a/n.a
  2005   6/8 9/9
  2006   5/n.a 8/n.a.
  2007   6/n.a 9/n.a.
  2008   n.a/4 n.a./8
  2009   6/n.a 9/n.a.
BG National monitoring system was established in 1953, sustained till 2000 by IFR-Varna and IO-BAS, supported mainly by the Ministry of Agriculture, Academy of Science and by different projects. Since 2000 this monitoring is not part of the National System.
Capes Kaliakra, Galata, Emine transects   2000   - /2 10/10
  2001   - /2 9/1
  2002   -/2 10/1
  2003   -/3 -/10
  2005   -/1 -/5
  2006   -/1 3/4
  2008   -/? ?
  2009   -/? ?
Bourgas Bay   1993-1999   12/12  
Varna Bay-Lake    2000-2009 3/3 10/10  
Sozopol Bay(CLOE)   1993 - 2009   8/8  
TR Indicator name Years No of sts in transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2005 n.a/ 5 n.a/ 49 n.a/ 9 2005-2009
2006 n.a/ 5 n.a/51 n.a/ 10
2007 5 /n.a 51 /n.a 10 /n.a  
2008 n.a/ 5 n.a/ 35 n.a/ 18  
2009 Programme implemented, data will be submitted  
External Sinopmonthly NO3+NO2         PO4 1998 20002002- present   1-3 / 1-3 limited
 Bosphorus-BS junction monthly NO3+NO2         PO4 1996- present   1 / 1  
Bosphorus-BS junctionhistorical  NO3+NO2         PO4 1986   n.a / 3  
1987   n.a / 3  
1989   3 / 3  
1990   n.a / 3  
1991   1 / 3  
1992   n.a / 3  
1993   1 / 3  
1994   n.a / 3  
1995   n.a / 3  
1996   n.a / 3  
TRBlack Sea   1986-1997   > 30 stsNot regular > 30 stsNot regular
  2005-2008   Not regular Not regular
RU Indicator name Years No of sts in transitional waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Coastal waters  (winter / spring) No of sts in Marine  waters  (winter / spring) Time series
NO3+NO2         PO4 2002   5 / 5   2002-2008
2003   6 / 2    
2004   8 / 8    
2005   8 / 8    
2006   8 / 8    
2007   8 / 8    
2008   8 / 8    
ExternalGelendijk Bayand the Standard Gelendzhiktransect NO3+NO2         PO4 2001-2009   19 periods?  
Gelendzhiklarger area  1984-2009   ?/? ?/?
Black and Azov seas 1999-2009   Large number of stations , Annex
Novo. Bay   2000   13/13  
  2001   13/13  
  2002   13/13  
  2003   -/13  
Port Novo.   2000-2006   10/10  
S.Oil Harbour   2000-2006   3/3  
Russian Coast   2000-2001   10/10  
  2004   -/15  
  2005   15/15  
  2006   15/-  
  2007   21/6  
  2008   6/-  
  2009   6/-  

It is almost clear that nutrient data suit for indicator tests. Evaluation of long term nutrient data (from available sources) by Yakushev et al. (in press) shows that for both, nutrient levels and N/P ratios, there is a clear indication of temporal variability, which can be assessed in terms of trends.

Figure 19. Interannual changes of upper layer concentrations of inorganic species of N, P, Si in the North-Eastern Black Sea averaged for the 5-years intervals. 

Figure 20. N/P ratio seasonal dynamics at Sulina in 1990-1997 compared to 1998-2003 (NW Black Sea), data A. Cociasu, NIMRD, Constanta, Romania.(A); N/P ratio dynamics in 0-5 m layer in the NE Black Sea in 1989-2006 (B).

A different presentation of long-term nutrient distribution at Sulina is showing the same temporal change from 1988 to 2002.

Figure 21. Long-term variability of phosphorus, silica and nitrogen species in Romanian waters.

II.6.2 Dissolved oxygen - hypoxia

Hypoxic situations (<2mg/l) and the expansion of zones of hypoxia is considered to be the coastal impact indicator of eutrophication (BSC set of indicators, MSFD Annex I and III) . The occasions of hypoxic conditions since 1970s in the NWS was evaluated in BS SoE (2008), the most sever one being occurred in 1983 (52% coverage of bottom layers). After 2000 no hypoxia has been observed in Black Sea coastal waters.

However, it should still be considered as a good impact indicator for near-bottom waters especially during stratified seasons (summer and autumn) when the minimum oxygen levels are observed in the coastal waters.

When the BSIS data sets are examined between 2001-2008, obviously there are data in almost all countries/stations where oxygen is measured. In general, data in transitional and coastal waters is not showing hypoxia after 2001 (therefore, no contradiction with data outside of BSIS).  

Relevant figures presented below (being extracted from SoE 2008) show that DO content at different depths may be useful to indicate the health of the coastal and marine waters.  

Figure 22. Long-term variations of spatial coverage of hypoxia in the northwestern shelf (SoE 2008: redrawn from Loyeva et al., 2006), average chlorophyll concentration (mg m-3) for the northern part of the NWS provided by daily-8 km SeaWiFS ocean color sensor  and the River Danube N-NO3 discharge.

Figure 23.  SOL (Surface Oxygen Layer) thickness measured as the difference between the sigma-t surfaces of 20 M dissolved oxygen and 5 M hydrogen sulphide concentrations deduced by all available data from the deep interior basin (SoE 2008: after Konovalov et al., 2005), average dissolved oxygen concentration within the layer of σt ~14.45 and 14.6 kg m-3 surfaces in the region off the eastern coast (SoE 2008: after Yakushev et al., 2005), and annual-mean surface dissolved oxygen concentration in northwestern coastal waters

II.6.3 Chlorophyll in situ & observed

Temporal trends of in situ chlorophyll data is considered as a state indicator both in EEA CSI and BSC indicator list. However, EEA methodology requires summer surface concentrations. This is unrealistic for BS where chlorophyll concentrations show peak values in late winter, late spring and strong peaks in autumn not only in the surface but also in subsurface layer (SoE, 2008). Therefore, Table 7 is aimed to organize the available information in such a format without making differentiation on station types, assuming most of the stations at the coastal area. At a later stage, when all the external data sources are evaluated and all the stations are plotted on a common map, one can differentiate transitional, coastal and marine stations and aggregate the data accordingly.

Most data being obtained from external data sources are presented in Table 7 which also includes BSIS data where available. External data presented in the Table contains also the sampling period and stations mentioned in external nutrient data.

Table 7. Chlorophyll data information obtained from BSIS and external data sources

  Indicator name Years Seasons Sampling  (Surface/profile) number of stations
RO - BSIS Chlorophyll 2001 March-October surface 11
2002 March-October surface 11
  2003 March-October surface 11
  2004 March-October surface 11
  2005 March-October surface 11
  2006 March-October Surface 11
  2007  March-October    
RO - Ext Chl For all external nutrient data presented in Table 6, Chl measurements are almost available.At Constanza there is regular data since 2001 in parallel to nutrient measurements.
  For Romanian BSIS data, information was available from 2007 National Report not from the data files.    
  Indicator name Years Seasons Sampling  (Surface/profile) number of stations
BG - Ext Chlorophyll                                   (FIR, R/V Akademik) 2000 Spring/Autumn ? 7/29
  2001 Autumn ? 17
  2002 Summer/Spring/ Autumn ? 22/8/23
  2003 Summer/Spring/ Autumn ? 33/22/14
  2007 Winter/Spring/  Summer/Autumn   23/51/63/9
  2008 Summer/Spring/ Autumn P (coastal) 4
  2008 Summer/Spring/ Autumn P (offshore) 13
  2009 Summer/Spring/ Autumn P 49/10/21
  (CLOE) 1993-2009 Winter/Spring/  Summer/Autumn ? 8
  Indicator name Years Seasons Sampling  (Surface/profile) number of stations
UA- Ext Chl (Sevastopol Bay) 1998-2008 Monthly? Surface? 33
  Chl (Islandof Zmeiniy) 2004-2009 Full seasons 0-8 m 6
  Indicator name Years Seasons Sampling  (Surface/profile) number of stations
TR- BSIS Chlorophyll(Black Sea coast) 2001      
  2004 Autumn P 63
  2005 Spring P 63
  2006 Spring/Autumn P 66
  2007 winter P 66
  2008 Spring/Autumn P 58/60
TR- Ext Chlorophyll (Sinop area) 1999 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 2/2/2/2
2000 Spring/summer /autumn P 2/2/2
  2002 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 1/1/2/1
  2003 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 2/2/2/2
  2004 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 2/2/1/1
  2005 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 1/1/1/1
  2006 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 2/1/1/1
  2007 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 1/1/1/1
  2008 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 1/1/1/1
  2009 Spring/summer /autumn/winter P 1/1/1/1
  Bosphorus-BS Junction 1986-1996 historical: Where nutrient data is available. See Table 6. 1996-2009 present: See Table 6.
  BS-TR waters 1986-1997, 2000-2001, 2005-2008: where nutrient data is available.


It is  obviously clear that Chlorophyll measurements are made at regular basis at certain locations of the Black Sea and there is a better data spatial coverage for the region in the last decade.

The long-term data of the last two decades show a decrease in chlorophyll levels and one example area is from the Island of Zmeiniy (Ukraine) given below. An other example of such a decreasing trend is from the Bourgas Bayand the Black Sea Entrance of the Straitof Istanbul (Bosphorus) where both data sets are evaluated together (SoE, 2008).  Both cases indicate that trends in chlorophyll levels at certain locations (with data) can be used as indicators.


Figure 24. Multi-annual dynamics of Chl_a at the Island of Zmeiniy (Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University)



Figure 25.   Monthly surface chlorophyll concentration during 1987-2001 measured in the Bourgas Bay (red dots) and the Bosphorus northern exit (green squares), and the SeaWiFS ocean color data for the region 4 (bold lines, region 4 - map on the left). The dashed line shows decreasing trend of peak Chl concentration since the 1980s. The field data are provided by G. Hibaum (CLOE), Moncheva (IO-BAS) and E.Okus (Istanbul University) and satellite data by daily-8, 9 km resolution SeaWiFS ocean colour product.

Ocean color in support of Chl-a : SeaWiFS (and MODIS data)  1998-2007 was used in the SoE, 2008 and compared with in situ data where available. It is recommended in SoE (2008) to be used widely in the basin as indicator of chlorophyll.
When the data obtained from MODIS and SeaWifs are examined they are found suitable for trend analysis, however absolute values can not be used as they are showing integral concentrations at the surface waters (not exactly at the sea surface, but in the surface layer).  



SEAWIFS Obtained from IMS/METU experts          
Year Months Seasons Annual
1997                 9 10 11 12       aut  
1998 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
1999 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2000 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2001 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2002 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2004 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
Year Months Seasons Annual
2002             7 8 9 10 11 12     sum aut an
2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2004 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2005 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2006 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Win spr sum aut an

II.6.4 Biodiversity

Biodiversity indicators for the Black Sea were first required to be examined for marine angiosperms (seaweeds, sea grasses, macro algae) in coastal waters. EEA CSI does not include them at the moment. MSFD (Annex I, III) makes clear reference to them as biological descriptors of GES.

This is the less concerned ecosystem component in terms of regular monitoring and data reporting to the BSC compared to phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoo benthos.

To the corresponding MSFD (Annex III) the biological features for macroalgae and angiosperms identified as: species composition, biomass and annual/seasonal variability. These classical indices also being used in the BSIS for benthic vegetation of marine ecosystems reflect the dynamics of community structure parameters.

The analysis of data gathered in BSIS btw 2001-2008 is shown in Table 8a. BG, RO and UA seemingly considering the importance of macro algae as an environmental and ecosystem quality indicator and controlling the distribution of main groups and recording the species diversity, biomass and areal coverage.

Two external data sources were provided by Ukraine for North Western BS and Crimea regions (Table 8b,c). Both data sets are comprehensive in terms of temporal and spatial coverage.  Similarly, external data made available for Bulgarian coastal waters is summarized in Table 8d.  


Table 8a. Available data for macroalgae in BSIS (B: Biomass, L: Location, M: Months, Y: Yes).

  Indicator name Years Rodophyta Chlorophyta Phaeophyta
BG Abundance and Biomass /space and time variations 2001 B / 1L , 3M B / 1L , 3M B / 1L , 3M
  2004 B / 1L, 1M B / 1L, 1M B / 1L, 1M
  species composition/ number of species 2001 Y Y Y
  2004 Y Y Y
  Indicator name Years Rodophyta Chlorophyta Phaeophyta
RO Abundance and Biomass /space and time variations 2004 B / 5L , 1M B / 5L , 1M B / 5L , 1M
  2005 B / 5L , 1M B / 5L , 1M B / 5L , 1M
  2006 B / 6L, 1M B / 6L, 1M B / 6L, 1M
  species composition/ number of species 2004 Y Y Y
  2005 Y Y Y
  2006 Y Y Y
  Indicator name Years Rodophyta Chlorophyta Phaeophyta
RU Abundance and Biomass /space and time variations 2001 B / 1L , 1M B / 1L , 1M B / 1L , 1M
  species composition/ number of species 2001 Y Y Y
  Indicator name Years Rodophyta Chlorophyta Phaeophyta
UA BSIS Abundance and Biomass /space and time variations 2005 B / 4L , 1-3M B / 4L , 1-3M B / 4L , 1-3M
  2006 B / 3L, 1-3M B / 3L, 1-3M B / 3L, 1-3M
  2008 B / 5L, 1M B / 5L, 1M B / 5L, 1M
  species composition/ number of species 2005 Y Y Y
  2006 Y Y Y
  2008 Y Y Y





Table 8.b External macroalgae structural and functional data from NWBS between 2000 and 2009 by Ukraine.


  Years Biomass /space and time variations species composition/ number of species S/W Community S/W population, dominant sp
UA 2000 5 L , 1-6 M Y Y Y
Ext 2001 4 L, 1-7 M Y Y Y
NWBSregion 2002 6 L, 1-4 M Y Y Y
  2003 5 L, 1-5 M Y Y Y
  2004 5 L, 1-2 M Y Y Y
  2005 8 L, 1-3 M Y Y Y
  2006 5 L, 1-7 M Y Y Y
  2007 5 L, 1-9 M Y Y Y
  2008 5 L, 1-9 M Y Y Y
  2009 4 L, 1-10 M Y Y Y

All groups of macroalgae: Rodophyta, Chlorophyta, Phaeophyta (Provided by Prof. Minicheva for the Diagnostic Report).

Table 8c. External macroalgae data (structural parameters) for Sevastopol between 2003 and 2009 in Crimea region (L: Location, D: Depth, M: Months, Y: Yes).

  Years Biomass /space and time variations species composition/ number of species
UA 2003 3 L, 7 D, 1 M Y
Ext 2004 4 L, 7 D, 1 M Y
Crimearegion 2005 2 L, 6 D, 1 M Y
  2005 2 L, 4-5 D, 12 M Y
  2006 4 L, 4-5 D, 1 M Y
  2007 5 L, 5-6 D, 1 M Y
  2008 15 L, 5-6 D, 1 M Y
  2009 1 L, 6 D, 1 M Y

Table 8d. External macroalgae data (structural parameters) for Bulgarian coastal area between  2001 and 2009 (L: Location, M: Months, Y: Yes).

  Years Biomass /space and time variations species composition/ number of species
BG 2001 4 L, 3 M Y
Ext 2002 4 L, 3 M Y
  2006 6 L, 1 M Y
  2007 18 L, 1 M Y
  2008 19 L, 1M Y
  2009 4 L, 1 M Y

In relation to the structural parameters selected as descriptors or indicators, quality of marine|naval| environment|Wednesday| is indirectly related with them whereas directly related with the functioning of biological communities and, it is preferable for monitoring biological indicators to use also the functional parameters (Table 8b, Minicheva communication for the Diagnostic report). They are the morphofunctional indices, simply the S/W ratio of population and community and easy to obtain (Minicheva, Zotov et al. 2003, See Annex VI). Therefore, it is  suggested to use them in parallel to the MSFD descriptors (Minicheva communication, Annex VI). 

In CBD AG report (2008/09), it was reported by Ukraine that in the northwestern part of the Black Sea shelf there are two types of macrophyte communities as recorded in 2008 and compared with 2006/07 data: (1) off-shore community, which spreads to the 10 m depths, and (2) shelf deep-water community, which is located on the depth 2550 m. Off-shore macrophytes are sensitive to local anthropogenic actions and climatic features of a year. Deep-water macrophytes show the long-term dynamics of regional processes, and can be the indicators of global climatic changes and general ecological situation in a shelf area.

II.6.5. Fisheries and aquaculture

Three core indicators considered by both EEA and BSC and also considered in MSFD (Annex I, III) are fishing fleet capacity, status of fish stocks/stocks outside safe biological limits and catches by major species/areas and aquaculture production.  

Related data sets of BSIS were evaluated by experts from FOMLR AG and no other data sources were referenced for this work. According to this study the following findings are summarized:

Table 9. Fishing fleet in the Black Sea region by number of vessels (Y: there is data, N: no data)

Year/State BG RO GE RU TR UA
2002 Y Y Y Y Y
2003 Y Y Y  N Y Y
2004 Y Y Y  N Y Y
2005 Y  N  N Y
2006 Y  N  N  N  N Y
2007 Y Y  N  N Y Y
2008 Y Y  N   N  Y Y

One of the main problems in the Black Sea region is the lack of comprehensive information on fishing activity, catch quantities and composition and how they affect the current state of fish stocks. Consequently, reports on the annual catch quantities and composition are produced with serious gaps and the analysis of fish stocks current state are far from high level of accuracy.

As an obligation to the EC, there exits Member State fleet register where power and gross tonnage of vessels are also registered besides numbers and that are good indicators for fishing effort.

Total landings (fish catch) and total catch by major fish type can be evaluated by region and country in 2001-2008 period with BSIS data.

Figure 26. Total landings by region and landings by major fish type

Catches of major commercial species by countries can also be evaluated as indicator for 2001-2008.

Figure 27. Catches by counrties and catches of  Merlangus merlangus and Sprattus sprattus by countries

Total Allowable Catch (TAC) and quotas is an other indicator that can be used with additional conditions, related to the strengthening of the control, reporting and fishing prohibition extension. However, TAC data is available mostly in only Romania and Bulgaria.

Bottlenecks/Gaps/misreporting: For the above mentioned indicators, there is no data reported by Russian Federation and very scarce data from Georgia. No data on IUU (Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported) catches and landings.

Commercial fish stocks is considered as an other common indicator for fishery where there are various sub indicators:

  • Number of commercial stocks;
  • Number of assessed stocks; (The assessed stocks are 2 sprat and turbot)
  • Number of non-assessed stocks; (the rest of the stocks are not assessed)
  • Percentage of non assessed / stocks of economic importance
  • Percentage of overfished / stocks of economic importance
  • Percentage of safe / stocks of economic importance

All these sub-indicators of stock biomass are derived form the analysis (ICA, XSA, Darby and Flatman, 1994; Patterson and Melvin, 1996. Analyses were performed by SGMED plus Black Sea and SGMED -09-01 in 2008 and 2009).


Fishing mortality sub indicator derived from the analytical methods applied.

Spawning Stock Biomass sub indicator derived from the analytical methods applied.

Recruits sub indicator derived from the analytical methods applied

Landings - indicator used in the analysis in order to derive sub-indicators.

Aquaculture production by countries is also a good and widely accepted indicator, however, the reported data in the region is limited.

Marine Trophic Index is not included among BSC indicators. Data are available in the region to calculate this indicator (see

A detail expert report on all these fishery indicators with recommendations on improvement of monitoring and data flows is presented in Annex IV.

II.6.6 Hazardous Substances in biota (and sediments)

The concentrations and trends of cadmium, mercury, lead, DDT, lindane and PCBs in biota are commonly assessed by regional conventions and EEA and decreasing trends of them indicate the effectiveness of pollution reduction measures. The metals and lindane are on the Dangerous Substances Directive list of 33 priority substances for their ecosystem and human health impacts.

It has been noted that the lack of consistent or reliable data from the marine conventions or EEA countries inhibits adequate assessment of concentrations and trends of hazardous substances in European marine water.  Aggregated data do not necessarily convey the uncertainty these problems cause.  The trend analysis should be based on a consistent and reliable sampling strategy to achieve a powerful statistical analysis.

Black Sea data on above mentioned HSs in biota are quite limited in obtaining temporal trends.  Table 10 summarizes the data available from BSIS.  It seems that it is possible to look at the trends of selected contaminants (e.g. DDT, Cd, Pb, Lindane, HCB) in mussels in Romanian waters. However, examining the data it was observed that not the same stations were sampled at the same time of the year which creates a big uncertainty for trend analysis. There are 4 locations where the sampling time is close at each year and there is 4-5 years of data. These data show, in general, no statistically significant trends of metals in biota. A slightly decreasing trend for Cd and Pb still could be mentioned, however, longer-term data are needed for the same species and same location to draw conclusions.

Other countries did not submit contaminants in biota data apart from Turkey who has submitted data on Cd, Pb and PAHs since 2004. Unfortunately, this data set is not suitable yet for trend analysis and the monitoring programme need to be reviewed in terms of sampling period, number of samples and parameters measured. 

PMA AG Report (2008/09) does not include any assessment of the contaminants in biota and also it has not been tackled in SoE, 2008. Romania should be encouraged in applying statistical tests to look for trends for these contaminants.

Table 10.  BSIS Data on contamination of biota

  Indicator name Years Seasons organism number of stations
RO DDT, DDD, DDE 2001 may mussel 1
  2002 may, july mussel 4
  2004 june, april mussel 4
  2005 april mussel 5
  2006 april mussel 6
  2007 august mussel 6
  2008 may,june,sept. mussel 5
  Cd,Pb 2001 may, sept mussel 3
  2002 may, july mussel 4
  2003 may, july mussel 4
  2004 june, april mussel 4
  2005 april mussel 5
  2006 april mussel 6
  2007 august mussel 6
  2008 may,june,sept. mussel 5
  Lindane 2001 may mussel 1
  2002 may, july mussel 4
  2004 june, april mussel 4
  2005 april mussel 5
  2006 april mussel 6
  2007 august mussel 6
  2008 may,june,sept. mussel 5
  HCB 2004-09 apr-oct. mussel 4-8
GE DDT, DDD, DDE 2001-2008 X X X
  Hg,Cd,Pb 2001-2008 X X X
  Lindane 2001-2008 X X X
  PAHs 2001-2008 X X X
BG DDT, DDD, DDE 2001-2008 X X X
  Hg,Cd,Pb 2001-2008 X X X
  Lindane 2001-2008 X X X
  PAHs 2001-2008 X X X
UA DDT, DDD, DDE 2001-2008 X X X
  Hg,Cd,Pb 2001-2008 X X X
  Lindane 2001-2008 X X X
  PAHs 2001-2008 X X X
TR DDT, DDD, DDE 2001-2008 X X X
  Cd, Pb 2001-2003 X X X
    2004 sept. mussel 7
   LindanePAHs 2005 april mussel 4
  2006 april & sept. mussel 10 & 8
  2007 X X X
  2008 sept. mussel 1
  2001-2008 X X X
  2001-2004 X X X
    2005 april mussel 2
    DDT, DDD, DDE 2006 april mussel 9
  2007 X X X
  2008 sept. mussel 1
RU 2001-2008 X X X
  Hg, Cd, Pb 2001-2008 X X X
  Lindane 2001-2008 X X X
  PAHs 2001-2008 X X X


An other indicator to assess the trends in contamination levels in coastal waters can be proposed as the HSs in sediments. However, considering the difficulties in evaluating the sediment data, BSIS data where available should be evaluated by experts for trends first. In terms of sampling periods from 2001 to 2008, Romanian data in BSIS is showing a regular annual sampling for some selected contaminants (e.g. Cd, Pb, PAHs). Annual Turkish sediment data has also a continuous manner since 2004 at least for few contaminants of concern. Ukrainian data are available for 2005, 2007 and 2008. A small group of regional experts could cooperate with OSPAR or HELCOM sediment group experts to evaluate the suitability of these data sets to obtain any trends at contamination levels.   

IAEA investigations/cooperation with Institutions in the Black Sea region were overviewed, however, they covered basically periods before 2000, and investigations, such as:

1998 - 11 stations in UA waters with mussels samples (PHs-total, 9 organochlorine pesticides, PCBs-total, 21 ind. PCBs) - 1999 - fish - turbot 20 ind. - average sample  (7 PAHs,  7 Me, DDT, DDD, DDE, Lindane, HCB,  PCBs-total);
2000 - 9 stations with mussels samples (PHs-total, 9 organochlorine pesticides, PCBs-total, 21 ind. PAHs, sum C14-C34 (aliphatic hedrocarbons);

2000 Phylophora field of Zernov  (10 Me, 18 ind. PAHs, 11 organochlorine pesticides, PCBs-total.


IAEA cooperated in studies under the umbrella of the BSERP Project in September-October 2003 and June 2006, however, only contamination of biota was studied in different Black Sea coastal waters.   

II.6.7  LBS inputs from direct and riverine sources

The Pressure indicators for eutrophication and contamination with hazardous substances (HSs) are accepted as inputs from point (direct) and riverine sources. Therefore, inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus as well as of selected contaminants (Cd, Hg, Pb, PCBs, DDT etc.) from these sources and also from atmospheric deposition at the regional scale are of interest.

In view of above, when BSIS data sets are examined (Table 11), some valuable data sets could be highlighted that are regularly collected in longer terms; like municipal, industrial and riverine nitrogen and phosphorus data from Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russian Federation  and riverine inputs from Turkey.

Regarding the HS inputs, trace metal (Cd, Hg, Pb) loads are available in longer term from industrial and riverine sources only from Bulgaria and riverine sources from Turkey. Atmospheric deposition of these substances at the regional scale was also estimated from EMEP model results (ref: SAP IR (2002-2007))

The data on inputs are aggregated on a yearly basis.  Method of aggregation of data is not clearly stated in BSIS and country annual reports on pressures. However, all states reported on their river monitoring strategies with specifications of frequency of observations: priority parameters are observed on a monthly basis in BG, RO, GE, RU, TU and weekly in UA.

Table 11. BSIS data on Land Based Sources of pollution

    Years Number of point sources and rivers 
RO Municipal BOD 1995-2005; 2004-2008 4; 3
TSS 1995-2005; 2004-2008 4; 3
TIN 1998-2005 4
TN, TP 2003-2005; 2004-2008 4; 3
TPH 2001-2008 3
Cd, Pb 2001-2002; 2004-2008 4
Industrial BOD 1995-2008 1; 2
TSS 1995-2008 2
TN 2001; 2005 2; 1
TPH 2001-2008 1
Cd, Pb 2001-2002; 2004-2008 2
Riverine BOD 2001-2002, 2004-2008; 2001-2006 4; 1
TSS 2001-2002, 2004-2008; 2001-2006 4; 1
DIN, PO4 1990-2004; 2001-2006 1; 1
TP, TN 2006-2008; 2001-2006 4; 1
Trace Metals 2001-2002, 2004-2008 4
TPH 2008 1
    BOD 1996-2008 4
GE Municipal TSS 1996-2008 4
TPHs 1996-2008 1
T.Metals X X
  BOD 2003-2008 2
Industrial TSS 2003-2008 2
TPHs 2004-2008 2
T.Metals X X
  BOD 2003-2008 4
Riverine TSS 2003-2008 4
TN, TP 2003-2008 2
PAHs X x
TPHs 2003-2008 2
T.Metals 2003-2008 2
    BOD 1995; 1998; 1999; 2000;2001; 2002;2003-2006;2007;2008 1; 2; 1; 2;3; 3;16;17;18
BG Municipal TSS 1995; 1998; 1999; 2000;2001; 2002;2003; 2004;2005;2006;2007;2008 1, 2, 1, 2,3, 4,14, 12,16,13,14,15
TP 1999-2001; 2002;2003; 2004;2005; 2006;2007-2008 1; 4; 16; 15;17;16;17
DIN 1995;1998-1999;2000-2003;2004;2005;2006; 2008 1;1;2;4;2;1;7
TPHs 2005;2006-2007;2008 2;10;4
T.Metals X X
  BOD 1995-2008 1-5
Industrial TSS 1995-2008 1-5
TN, TP 2001-2008 1-3
PAHs x X
TPHs 2005-2008 1-2
Cd; Pb; Hg 2002-2008 1-2
  BOD 1990-2008 1
Riverine TSS 1990-2008 1
TN, TP 1990-2008 1
PAHs x X
TPHs 1990-2008 1
T.Metals 1990-2008 1
BOD 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 15;9
UA Municipal TSS 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 14;9
TIN; PO4 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 15;9
PAHs x x
TPHs 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 14;9
T.Metals x x
  BOD 1995-2005 ; 2007-2008  8;1
Industrial TSS 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 9;1
TIN;PO4 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 8/6;1
PAHs x x
TPHs 1995-2005 ; 2006-2008 8;1
T.Metals 1995-2005 2
  BOD 1991-2001 ; 2006-2008 4;4
Riverine TSS 1991-2001 ; 2006-2008 4;0
TN, TP 1991-2008 ; 2006-2008 4;4
PAHs x X
TPHs 1991-2001 ; 2006-2008 4;4
T.Metals 1991-2008 ; 2006-2008 4;3
    BOD 2002-2007 ; 2008 7;5
TR Municipal TSS 2002-2003 ; 2004,2005,2008 7;6
TN, TP 2002-2007 ; 2008 7;5
PAHs x X
TPHs 2007-2008 2;4
T.Metals 2005-2006 ; 2007 ; 2008 2;4;6
  BOD 2002-2003 ; 2004 ; 2007-2008 1;2;3
Industrial TSS 2002-2003 ; 2004-2006 ; 2007-2008 3;2;3
TN, TP 2002-2006 ; 2007-2008 1;3
PAHs x X
TPHs 2007-2008 2
T.Metals 2002-2006 ; 2007-2008 2;3
  BOD  1992-2002 ; 2002-2006 ; 2007-2008 3;4;5
Riverine TSS 1992-2002 ; 2002-2008 3;4
TIN, PO4 1992-2002 ; 2002-2008 3;5
PAHs x X
TPHs x X
T.Metals 1992-2002 ; 2002-2005 ; 2006-2008 3;4;1
BOD 1995-2008 11
RU Municipal  TSS 1995-2008 11
DIN; PO4 2000-2008 11
PAHs x X
TPHs 1995-2008 11
T.Metals x X
  BOD 1995-2008 2
Industrial  TSS 1995-2008 2
TN, TP x X
PAHs x X
TPHs 1995-2008 2
T.Metals x X
  BOD 1990-2008; 1995-2005 3; 4
Riverine  TSS 1990-2008; 1995-2005 3; 4
DIN; PO4; TP 1990-2008; 1995-2005 3; 4
TN 2005-2008 3
TPHs 1990-2008; 1995-2005 3; 4
T.Metals 1995-2005 3 ?

Long term evaluation of emissions and inputs (Yakushev, in press, will be published by CIESM in 2010) show the reliability of data (all sources) proving the data suitability to indicators:


Fgure 28. Relative contributions of different point and diffuse sources to the emissions of (a) total nitrogen (N) and (b) total phosphorus averaged over 5 year bins (from daNUbs project Final Report, 2005).


Figure 29. Long-term dynamics of Danube nutrient loads (in Kilotonnes) measured at Sulina, data A. Cociasu, NIMRD, Constanta, Romania.

II.6.8. Inputs from shipping

Discharge of oil from refineries and offshore installations is not reported by the Black Sea countries. The only available information is the number of off-shore installations.

Number of oil spills have been reported by all the countries usually both in numbers and volume. However, spills from illegal discharges have not been differentiated from the total number of spills and the reported numbers are most related to accidental oil spills (ESAS AG reports based on BSIS data). Table 12 shows the oil spill data where source identified or not.  Shipping intensity has also been considered in BS reporting to BSIS where this can only be referred as an indirect pressure on the environment.

Concerning the illegal discharges from shipping, aerial surveillance in maritime areas in the EU is the chosen indicator. JRC (Joint Research Center of EC, IPSC) has also produced spill maps using satellite images. This study of JRC is also including the Black Sea and being efficiently used in TDA, 2007 and SoE, 2008 reports as well as the ESAS AG Reports.   

Table 12. Data on illegal discharges of oil, accidents and shipping density

Illegal discharges of oil at sea 2002:N                                                                                            2008: Y                                                                                                                                    2002:N                                                                                            2008: Y                                                                                                                                  2002:N                                                                                            2008: N                                                                                                                                 2002:N                                                                                            2008: N                                                                                                                                  2002:N
Accidental oil spills from shipping 2002: N                                                                                           2003:Y**                                                                                               2004:Y**                                                                                     2005:Y**                                                                                  2006:Y**                                                                                              2007:Y**                                                                                                                                                                           2008: Y**                                                                                                                                2001:N                                                                                            2002: N                                                                                           2003:Y**                                                                                               2004: N                                                                 2005:Y                                                                                               2006:Y                                                                                           2007:Y                                                                                                   2008:                                                                                                                                2001:N                                                                                            2002: N                                                                                              2003:Y**                                                                                             2004: Y**                                                                                           2005: Y**                                                              2006:Y**                                                                                             2007: Y**                                                                                           2008: Y**                                                                                                                                    2001:Y**                                                                                           2002: Y**                                                                                              2003:Y**                                                                                             2004: Y** 2005:Y**                                                                                             2006: Y**                                                                                           2007: Y**                                                                                           2008: Y**                                                                                                                                 2001:N                                                                                            2002: N                                                                                           2003: Y**                                                                                               2004: N                                                                                           2008: N                                                                                                                                2002:N                                                                                            2005: Y**  2006:Y**                                                                                             2007: Y**                                                                                           2008: Y**                                                                                                                               
Shipping density 2004: 1502                                                                                           2005: 1578                                                                                               2006: 1955                                                                                          2007: 3586                                                                                                                                      2002: 2152  2005: 2675                                                                                          2006: 2615 2003: 5023  2008: 5950 2001: 3598                                                                                           2002: 3764                                                                                              2003: 4256                                                                                          2004: 8275        2005: 7064                                                                                            2008: 6552                                                                                                                                 2001   :1598                                                                                           2002   :2136                                                                                              2003   :2784                                                                                            2004   :5211 2005   :5915                                                                                             2006   :6173    2007   :9612                                                                                            2008   :9989                                                                                                                                  2005:  9408                                                                                               2006:10489                                                                                         2007:10336                                                                                                                                  

** source of spill not identified

II.6.9  Climate change impact indicators

Sea Surface Temperature: The winter-mean (December-March) sea surface temperature (SST) variations shown in Fig. 34 were described by different monthly-mean data sets. The first one was complied by Hadley Centre, UK Meteorological Office from all available in situ measurements within the interior part of the basin with depths greater than 1500 m and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiation (AVHRR) satellite observations (Rayner et al., 2003). The second data set was provided by the Global Ice-Sea Surface Temperature, version 2.2 data set (GISST2.2) for the region confined by 4244N latitude range and 2939E longitude range during 19501994 (Kazmin and Zatsepin, 2007). Other data sets include the NCEP-Reynolds 1o resolution monthly AVHRR night-time measurements for 19832006 and 4 km resolution weekly Pathfinder5 AVHRR night-time measurements for 19872005. Fig. 1 also shows the minimum Cold Intermediate Layer temperature variation (characterized by temperatures less than 8oC below the seasonal thermocline) as the mean of all available data from the interior basin for May-November period of 1950-1995 (Belokopytov, 1998) and from the regular measurements along several cross-sections within the eastern Black Sea during July-September period of 1990-2004 (Krivosheya et al., 2005).

The winter GISST data reveal an approximately 1.0 oC cooling trend from 9.0 oC in 1970 to 8.0 oC in 1985. The Hadley SST data instead remain uniform at 8.70.1oC during the 1960s and 1970s and then decreased abruptly from about 8.5 oC at 1981 to 7.7 oC at 1984. The cooling phase persists up to 1994 and switches abruptly to the warming mode until 2002 that was then replaced by a cooling mode up to the present. The NCEP-Reynolds data that form a part of the Hadley data set are similar to the Hadley one after 1993. The more recent and refined Pathfinder data set was also similar to the NCEP-Reynolds data after the beginning of the 1990s. The accompanying CIL data support reliability of the Hadley winter SST data because the minimum CIL temperature in summer months reflects signature of the winter SST.  Approximately 0.7oC difference between the subsurface summer CIL temperature and the winter Hadley SST should probably arise from different spatial averaging of the available data sets.


Figure 30. Long-term variations of the basin-averaged winter-mean (December-March) Sea Surface Temperature (SST) during 1960-2005 using the monthly data sets of Hadley Centre-UK Meteorological Office (blue), GISST (Kasmin and Zatsepin, 2007; red), NCEP-Reynolds 1o resolution AVHRR (violet), Pathfinder5 4 km resolution AVHRR (black), minimum temperature of the Cold Intermediate Layer for the mean of May - November period (green), and the winter-mean (December-March) SST measured near Constanta (Romanian coast). All these data were plotted after smoothed by the three point moving average.

The summer SST variations differ from the winter ones to a considerable extent (Fig. 30; blue). For example, cold winters of 1991-1992 are followed by relatively warm summers with SST ≥ 25 oC in August. Contrary to a steady rise of the winter SST after 1994, summer SSTs remain relatively low (below 24.5 oC) until 1998, and fluctuates between 25 oC and 26 oC afterwards. In-situ measurements along the northeastern coast (Shiganova, 2005) generally support these features (Fig. 30; blue). On the other hand, the annual-mean basin-averaged SST reveals a warming trend from ~14.8 oC in 1989 to 15.6 oC in 2005 with some oscillations along the trend (Fig. 30; green). In particular, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2003 and 2004 emerge as cold years.


Figure 31. Results of daily measurements of surface water temperature (C) during 2004-2007 at the Islandof Zmiiniy (Ukraine)

Long term trends in the sea surface temperature of the Black Sea and available data for assessments are comprehensively reported in a relevant paper of G. I. Shapiro, D. L. Aleynik, and L. D. Mee (can be provided upon request or visit: Ocean Sci. Discuss., 7, 91119, 2010; Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License).

Sea level: It is a prominent feature of global warming as well as large scale atmospheric systems in regional seas.  Sea level change provide best response of the physical climate to atmospheric forcing, because the link includes an overall response of the changes in the surface atmospheric pressure through the inverse barometer effect, water density changes in response to temperature and salinity variations (steric effects), precipitation, evaporation and river runoff.  The detrended sea level anomaly (SLA) time series (Reva 1997, Tsimplis and Josey 2001, Stanev and Peneva 2002), as an average of the measurements at 12 coastal stations around the Black Sea, oscillate within the range of 10 cm (Fig. 32). Its higher (lower) values coincide with the warm (cold) cycles of the water temperature indicating that a part of the observed sea level change has a thermal origin due to the thermo-steric effect. The annual-mean tide-gauge data show a high degree of consistency with the altimeter SLA data as well (Fig. 34). They both exhibit a rising trend of 3 cm y-1 from 1993 to the mid-1999 followed by -3.0 cm y-1 declining trend for 07/199912/2003 in consistent with the cooling phase indicated by the winter SST data. Good agreement between the monthly SLA changes and the Danube discharge rates suggest its predominant role on the basin-scale sea level oscillations.


Figure 32. Sea level rise stations around the Black Sea


Figure 33. Annual-mean (triangles) and August (dots) SST variations obtained by the basin-averaging of 9 km monthly-mean, gridded NOASS/NASA AVHRR Oceans Pathfinder data, and annual-mean (stars) and August (crosses) SST variations measured at Constanta (Romanian coast) and along the northeastern coastal waters (squares; Shiganova, 2005).


Figure 34.  Long-term variations of the detrended sea level anomaly (blue) after high frequency oscillations have been filtered by the three point moving average and its comparison with annual mean sea level anomaly retrieved from satellite altimeter measurements (after Oguz et al., 2006).


Figure 35. Comparison of the detrended monthly-mean sea level anomaly obtained from the basin-averaged altimeter data (black) and the mean of 12 coastal sea level stations around the basin (blue)  (after Goryachkin et al.,  2003).

Figure 36. Results of  decadal averages (from daily measurements) of sea level data (cm) during 2004-2007 on Islandof Zmeiniy (Ukraine, North-Western part of the Black Sea).

Northward movement of species

Full expert report is presented in Annex V and below there is a summary of the Report.

The Black Sea biota contains of 80% of Atlantic-Mediterranean origin, 10.4% and 9.6% of species of freshwater and Ponto-Caspian origin, respectively. At present, the total number of species in the Black Sea is relatively small (about 3,774 spp.) and of these 1,619 are fungi, algae, and higher plants; 1,983 are invertebrates, 180 are fish, and 4 are sea mammals- dolphins (Zaitzev, Alexandrov, 1998; see Ref. in Annex V).

Euryterm species


Cold-water species


Euryterm species

In the 20th century, especially in its second half, under the influence of climatic and anthropogenic factors, significant changes have occurred in the diversity of the flora and fauna of the Black Sea.

As a result of the man-induced changes that occurred in the Black Sea ecosystem by the end of the 1980s, it represented a mesotrophic or eutrophic (in its northwestern and the western parts) basin with disturbed  functioning, which was favorable for the development of gelatinous plankton. Besides, the occasional and sometimes intentional introduction of non-native species of animals and plants is a global phenomenon that has not avoided the Black Sea as well. As a result, the Black Sea became a basinrecipient for many non-native species of different origins both marine and brackish water species.

In addition in the Black Sea during last decades temperature increased both in the surface mixed and the cold intermediate layers (Fig.37), which facilitates the increase of population of thermophilic species and their northward expansion from the Mediterranean. Until recently new Mediterranean species have been recorded temporally or permanently mainly in the near-Bosporus region.  Therefore, they are usually not regarded as established non-native species. But if we take into account only established species, their share in total numbers of non-native species consist of 36%.  Since 1960s and certainly earlier with the Bosporus Straitwith Low-Bosporus current delivered many Mediterranean species different taxonomic groups.  But selected Mediterranean species of phyto- , zooplankton, benthic and fish species more and more often are recorded also off northwestern and northeastern coastal areas. At present, this process is facilitating by rising temperature. As a result of that numbers of penetrated and even established species far from Bosporus are increasing during last years. Species that penetrated beyond the Bosporus reach the centre, southwest, southeast and northeast, moving with the currents or lenses of the Mediterranean water or are releasing with ballast water. Number of species brought with ballast waters increased especially around harbor areas. Some species were represented by a few specimens; others are increasing their density.

Figure 37. Rise of water temperature during the last decades (Data of lab. Hydrophysics of Southern branch of SIO RAS)

Phytoplankton: Mediterranean phytoplankton species new for the Black Sea are recorded year after year, and their numbers keep increasing. A significant number of species native to the Mediterranean colonize the Bosporus region. However, some other newcomers of the 1960s and early 1970s were found not only near the Bosporus but also near the Crimea.

Zooplankton: high numbers of holozooplankton species dispersed with Low-Bosporus current into the Black Sea and occur temporally off the Bosporus. Among them, 59 species are Copepoda. All of them were recorded along the southern Black Sea but none of them became abundant. Recently also 46 species of  Mediterranean and Marmara Sea Copepoda were found in the southern Black Sea (Zagorognya et al, 1999, Tarkan et al., 2005, see Ref. in Annex V). But all of these species may be considered as regular migrants arrived with Mediterranean water mass. In the northeastern Black Sea off Gelendzhik three species of Mediterranean  Copepoda were recorded. In the coastal waters off the Crimea, the numbers of the non-native planktonic species observed keep increasing, all of Mediterranean origin. To date, it is not clear whether all will be capable to establish.


Benthos: Area of distribution twenty two species of Mediterranean Bivalvia is limited off Bosporus. Thirty Mediterranean species of Polychaeta were recorded off Bosporus area. The numbers of Mediterranean species off Bosporus area keep increasing.

During last decades some species, which occurred earlier only off Bosporus area began penetrate in other areas of the Black Sea.


Macrophytes:  The list of macrophytes of the Black Sea published in 1975, and the list after 1975, shows 38 additions. The most significant change is the almost twofold increase in the number of Cladophora, Ulva, Ceramium, Polysiphonia, Cystoseira and Sargassum; many of them play a key role in the bottom communities of the Mediterranean (26 species). Most are thermophilic and indicators of the transition zone between the boreal and tropical domains (Milchakova, 2002, see Ref. in Annex V).The greatest number of species has probably penetrated with currents, and became established in near-shore water of the Anatolian coast. Their proportion reaches 26% of the total number of macrophytes.


Fish: Significant range of northward extensions has been recorded for the Mediterranean fish species in the Black Sea. Most of them had been recorded earlier in the Black Sea as seasonal migrants but now they have an extended area of distribution in the Black Sea. Some of them have changed phenology: they used to spend short period of warm seasons in the Black Sea for spawning/ and feeding but now some of them stay longer in the Black Sea, intensively reproduce and even most probably stay for over-wintering, which were not observed earlier (the dorado Sparus aurata, the salema Sarpa salpa ).

Thus there is a progressing trend of arrival of Mediterranean species into the Black Sea both with the currents as natural expansion and with ballast waters.  Most of these species arrived in previous years as well but relatively low temperature and low salinity prevented their establishment. Now with rising temperature some species could establish. First of all benthic species that inhabit at the depths where salinity is higher, especially in the southern part of the Black Sea. Some of these species began to establish in the near ports areas.

II.6.10  Bathing waters

Competent authorities concerning bathing water are the Ministry of Health at the national level and Regional Inspectorates on Public Health Protection and Control that carry out sampling and monitoring of bathing waters.

All states have bathing water monitoring. The bathing waters are classified in BG, RO and TU in the following categories:

         Compliant with mandatory values of the 76/160/EEC Directive for the 5 parameters (class CI)

         Compliant with mandatory and more stringent guide values of the Directive for the 5 parameters (class CG)

         Not compliant with mandatory values of the Directive for the 5 parameters (class NC)

         Banned (temporarily closed) or closed throughout the season (class B)


Figure 38. Results of bathing water monitoring in Bulgaria.

Figure 39. Results of bathing water monitoring in Bulgaria.

Figure 40. Results of bathing water monitoring in Ukraine.

All states have data that allow calculation of the EEA indicator. The BSC receives incomplete reporting of data, however annually a bathing water workshop is carried out, where all states report in tables and figures. The reporting of data is poorly arranged due to insufficient communication between Ministries of Environment and Ministries of Health.