Black Sea Large Marine Ecosystem

Black Sea Large Marine Ecosystem Recovery Project (BSERP)

The Black Sea is the world's most isolated sea - connected to the Oceans via the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosphorus, Dardanelle and Gibraltar straits and with the Sea of Azov in the northeast through the Kerch Strait . The catchment area is 6 times greater than the surface area of the Black Sea. BSERP is a partner in the Black Sea - Danube Strategic Partnership.

Black Sea Littoral States and Rivers

The Black Sea is up to 2212 metres deep and receives the drainage from a 2 million square kilometre basin, covering about one third of the area of continental Europe. Every year, about 350 cubic kilometres of river water pour into the Black Sea from an area covering almost a third of continental Europe and including significant areas of seventeen countries: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Yugoslavia. Europe's second, third and fourth rivers: the Danube, Dnipro (Dnipro) and Don via the Sea of Azov, together with Rioni, Kodori, Inguri Chorokh, Kizilirmak, Yeshil?rmak, Sakarya, Southern Bug and Dnister, all flow into the Black Sea.

Black Sea Vulnerabilities

Its only connection to other marine water bodies is through the winding Istanbul (Bosphorus) Straits, a 35 km natural channel, as little as 40 metres deep in places. The Istanbul (Bosphorus) Straits has a two layer flow, carrying about 300 cubic kilometres of seawater to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean along the bottom layer and returning a mixture of seawater and freshwater with twice this volume. The shelf occupies a large area in the north-western part of the Black Sea , where it is over 200 km wide and has a depth up to more than 150 meters. In other parts of the sea the shelf has a depth of less than 100 m and a width of 2.2 to 15 km. Near the Caucasian and Anatolian coasts the shelf is only a narrow intermittent strip iin the upper layer. For this reason, the Black Sea is very vulnerable to pressure from land based human activity and its health is equally dependent from the coastal and non-coastal states of its basin.

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