Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Baltic 2 Black

Environmental monitoring of the Black Sea with focus on nutrient pollution

View to the Bosphorus. Photo: Miia Mannerla 

Project objective and background

The Black Sea suffers from eutrophication like the Baltic Sea does. The food webs in the Black Sea have undergone drastic changes during the recent decades, and that makes eutrophication effects more complex than in the Baltic Sea.

The project “Environmental monitoring of the Black Sea with focus on nutrient pollution” (Baltic2Black) aims to enhance the protection of the Black Sea from eutrophication. The focus of the project is on transfer of knowledge between the regions on assessment of eutrophication and monitoring of nutrient loads.

Baltic2Black is a collaboration project between the Secretariats of the Black Sea Commission (lead partner) and HELCOM (partner). The Black Sea Commission is the intergovernmental body established for the implementation of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Bucharest Convention). The Convention was ratified by all six legislative assemblies of the Black Sea countries (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia) in 1994. The Permanent Secretariat of the Commission is located in Istanbul, Turkey.

The project is funded by the European Commission, DG ENVIRONMENT.

Tasks and HELCOM’s role in the project

The project’s main mode of work is joint workshops involving relevant experts from both regions. In these interactive workshops, HELCOM’s experts have been involved in the following tasks:

  • Presentation and elaboration of regionally agreed criteria for assessment of eutrophication, especially reference and target concentrations, and discussion on the development of eutrophication status classification in the Black Sea;
  • Sharing experiences on the use of automated monitoring systems for eutrophication such as satellite chlorophyll and ships of opportunity data, and on the steps needed to implement automated systems for monitoring of eutrophication in the Black Sea region;
  • Discussion on process of setting up a modelling tool, that links eutrophication status targets to nutrient loads triggering eutrophication and the needs for reducing nutrient inputs. The Baltic Nest Institute is involved in the discussions.

For HELCOM, the project facilitates the implementation of the task agreed in the HELCOM Moscow Ministerial Declaration: “Agree for those Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention being also partners to the other Regional Seas Conventions to further strengthen the co-operation with those Commissions, in particular, with a view to achieve our common goals of a healthy marine environment.”