RESEARCH AND RESTORATION OF THE ESSENTIAL FILTERS OF THE SEA REEFS REPORT

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3 RESEARCH AND RESTORATION OF THE ESSENTIAL FILTERS OF THE SEA REEFS 1 REPORT June 2012 December 2015 The Black Sea is well isolated geographically, ecologically and biologically and it is a typical example of a semi-enclosed, intercontinental sea. It is an Eurasian sea, whose waters, from the west and the north are washing the coasts of the European countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine and Russia) and, from the south and the east the countries of Asia (Turkey and Georgia). The drainage basin of the Black Sea exceeds 2,300 million km² and, entirely or partly, covers the territory of 22 countries in Europe and Asia 6 already named riparian countries and 16 countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Their contribution to the catchment area of the Black Sea is quite different. In this territory are located huge agricultural areas, large industrial centres, and dozens of large cities including many state capitals. More than 300 large and small rivers flow directly into the sea from the catchment basin of the Black Sea. The Black Sea, as any other marine basin, has its ecological problems related to human activities and since it is quite isolated water body, those problems are more acute than those in open marginal seas having a free water exchange with the Ocean: Anthropogenic eutrophication; Increasing in phytoplankton and biomass; Degradation of bottom algal communities; Oxygen deficiency in near-bottom water layers and decline in biological biodiversity; Pollution; Invasive Species; Unmanaged fisheries and bottom trawling; Lack of information and economic difficulties. Artificial reefs are used as a tool to improve the state of marine ecosystems and environment. Deploying artificial construc tions in support of fishing and aquaculturing was widely used for a long time, but now other applications are also developed like: restoration of marine environment, sus tainable management of natural resources, scientific experiments as well as tourist attraction. Using artificial reefs as biofilters for coping with the consequences of local eutrophication events is a relatively new application. In 2009 a project Research and REstoration of the Essential Filters of the Sea REEFS was initiated with the specific objective to establish long-term partnership platform for scientific, technical, administrative and awareness raising activities in favour of artificial reefs practice as a way of active support of the self-restoration of the Black Sea ecosystem. REEFS is an International initiative of Black Sea countries in support of improving the marine environment and increasing marine biodiversity. The REEFS project is designed to contribute to a number of international strategic initiatives by adding a practical and active approach towards restoration of the essential filters of the sea. Partner organizations from 5 countries in the region work together in the frame of the REEFS Project: Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation /BBF/ (Bulgaria), Ilia State University /ISU/ (Georgia), Mare Nostrum (Romania), Faculty of Marine Sciences of Karadeniz Technical University /KTU/ (Turkey), Institute of Marine Biology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The project outputs and results are briefly presented here by group activities: Group Activity 1 Artificial Reefs Advocacy Research Analysis of the Legislative and Institutional Framework with a list of Recommendations was prepared for the 5 involved countries with organigrams, international, national and local institutions database; Legislative dossier of each of the countries involved was prepared. Two round tables to discuss on the artificial reefs application challenges were held in Ukraine and Romania. Black Sea REEFS Programme and Action

4 2 Plan were prepared including statements, official the Black Sea environmental problems and trained 3 letters and meetings to obtain official permissions in integrated policies and practical approaches of to pave the road of artificial reefs application. artificial reefs development and application as a Public presentations and discussions were held in tool to improve the marine environment. Training Romania, Georgia and Bulgaria. packages were developed and distributed by the project partners to schools, universities and NGOs. Group Activity 2 Feasibility study and Methodology Initial Environmental Impact Report about the cumulative operation of the reef like equipment settled in the Black Sea Basin was developed; Feasibility Study in terms of the technical and operational resources needed and schedule was prepared based on settlement and deployment of two types of artificial reef modules shallow water and deep water types of vertical floating reef (Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, Turkey) as well as various materials of overgrowing with fouling communities were tasted (Ukraine). A number of joint expeditions to settle, research and monitor the artificial reefs were organised. A Methodology on economic effectiveness of artificial reefs was developed and tested as well. Including two joint technical seminars, joint expeditions were held involving more than 45 participants with improved knowledge and practical experience in joint research and technical activities. Group Activity 3 Trainings Four trainings including one Training of trainers (Turkey) and three for the final beneficiaries (Bulgaria) were held. Common training knowledge base was created. Twenty trainers improved their knowledge and practical experience as well as 90 students, fisherman, divers, NGO activists and other stekeholder representatives were introduced to Group Activity 4 Visibility A special logo, web site ( and a documentary have been developed and made public. Media/ press events have been organized and press releases distributed in parallel to the main project activities and achievements. The website attracted more than visits during the project implementation period. More than 1200 project leaflets and brochures have been distributed. Project Research Digest was printed containing 12 scientific articles. Group Activity 5 Project management The project management team was hired by the Beneficiary and together with the staff of the project partners run and implemented the project. The total budget of REEFS project consisted of eurо, of which the total amount of the Grant is euro provided by the European Union through the Joint International Programme Black Sea Basin The exact expenditures will be available after the final report is audited. Duration: 43 Months, Start Date: 02/06/2012, End Date: 31/12/ The beginning Opening Forum, Balgarevo, Bulgaria, Opening Forum, Balgarevo, Bulgaria, Kaliakra Information Center, Balgarevo, Round table I, Odessa, Ukraine, Opening Forum and Technical seminar I, Balgarevo, Bulgaria, 2012

5 4 5 8 Round table I, Odessa, Ukraine, Preliminary mission and expedition, Grigoleti field Station, Georgia, Media/Press event during Round table II, Constanta, Romania, Meeting BSB JOP Focal point in Tbilisi, Georgia, Meeting local authorities, Georgia, Round table II presentations, Constanta, Romania, Round table I, Odessa, Ukraine, 2012

6 Training of trainers, Trabzon, Turkey, Training of trainers, Trabzon, Turkey, Training of trainers, Trabzon, Turkey, Training of trainers, Trabzon, Turkey, 2014

7 Preliminary mission and expedition, Trabzon, Turkey, Preliminary mission and expedition, Trabzon, Turkey, Immersion of artificial reef module, Kranevo, Bulgaria Immersion of Artificial reef module, Constanta, Romania, Installation of signal buoy, Kranevo, Bulgaria, 2015

8 Artificial reef modules arrive in Constanta, Romania, REEFS project visibility on the artificial reef module, Constanta, Romania, Immersion of artificial reef module, Constanta, Romania, Preparation for settlement of artificial reef modules, Constanta port, Romania, Installation of signal buoy, Constanta, Romania, Immersion of artificial reef module, Constanta, Romania, Press event during immersion of artificial reef modules, Constanta, Romania, 2015

9 Preliminary mission and preparation of artificial reef module immersion, Kvariati, Georgia, Immersion of anchor of artificial reef, Kvariati, Georgia, Unloading artificial reefs modules in Kvariati, Georgia, Immersion of artificial reef module, Constanta, Romania, Sea horse observed during monitoring of artificial reefs in Constanta (one month after deployment), Romania, 2015

10 Preliminary mission and expedition to KTU Training vessel, Trabzon, Turkey, Transportation of artificial reef modules to KTU Training vessel, Trabzon, Turkey, Monitoring fouling communities on artificial reefs, Kranevo, Bulgaria, Preparatory work for immersion of artificial reef modules together with athorities, Trabzon, Turkey, Preparatory work for immersion of artificial reef modules together with authorities, Trabzon, Turkey, Fouling communities of Black mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and Ascidia sp. on artificial reef, Kranevo, Bulgaria, Immersion of artificial reef modules, Trabzon, Turkey, 2015

11 16 41 Training of students, Balgarevo, Bulgaria, Award diploma of the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development to the REEFS Project as an Exemplary Implemented Project, Training of students in artificial reefs, Balgarevo, Bulgaria, Closing Forum presentations Mihaela Candea, Mare Nostrum, Varna, Bulgaria, Mature artificial reef communities, Kranevo, Bulgaria

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