Protecting the delicate Black Sea ecosystem was in focus on 5 August in the Port of Batumi in Georgia, as scientists on board the international research ship “Mare Nigrum” presented the results of their regular surveys on water quality and the state of marine biodiversity.
The survey’s latest iteration showed positive trends in biodiversity along the Georgian coast, especially at Sarpi, Mtsvane Kontskhi and Tsikhisdziri.
In the past, similar surveys have raised concerns about the impact of pollution on the Black Sea, which is surrounded by six countries – Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine – and serves as the discharge point for many major European rivers, including the Danube, Dniester, Don, Bug, Kuban and Rioni.
Ecological worries include plastic waste (currently measured at 90.5 items per sq. km), the presence of microplastics at depths of 2,000 metres, an influx of hazardous chemicals, and the arrival of invasive species.
Speakers at the event emphasised the importance of regional cooperation in preserving the Black Sea’s health.
The surveys have been conducted regularly since 2014 by the EU-funded Environmental Monitoring of the Black Sea (EMBLAS) project. Working in close cooperation with the governments of Georgia and Ukraine, EMBLAS conducts regular monitoring in the Black Sea basin. It also offers small grants for measures aimed at reducing pollution and makes recommendations to policymakers on how to reduce threats to the Black Sea ecosystem.
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