Black Sea

The Black Sea is bordered by Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. A series of large rivers which flow into the northern and western parts of the Black Sea which gives it a major water input. Inflow water from the large river systems coupled with limited outflow have led to the Black Sea being nutrient rich and highly productive. Because of it the Black Sea had developed into an unique system.
Common interests and potential conflicts are present in the Black Sea region in nature protection and restoration, fisheries, regional industrial activities and accompanying pollution impacts, including oil development and production, development of transport infrastructure, including projects for regular maritime links between the ports of bordering states. Minor pressures exist from tourism and sand mining.
It is important to balance the different economic, social and ecological interests in the area. However, cooperation efforts are often hindered by a number of factors such as uneven economic and political development within and among countries and nationalist forces.

Aim of Case Study
We will focus in this case study on environmental improvement and cross border issues related to marine spatial planning. Important topics will be:

  • International cooperation and agreements for sustainable development and protection of the Black Sea ecosystem,
  • Assessment of establishment of a cross border Network of marine protected areas to represent the Black Sea Basin and stop further deterioriation of the Black Sea marine environment, as well as actions to manage and plan human use and activities,
  • Use of plankton species, such as e.g. jelly fish, as indicators for water quality changes in the system and human impact.

In the case study we will describe and analyse the links between economic, social and ecological marine spatial planning processes with the aim of provide practical input for the development of a long term strategy towards evaluation and monitoring of marine spatial planning in the Black Sea, both national and regional.