Marine litter, euthrophication and noise assessment tools (MARLEN)

Project facts

Project promoter:
Institute of oceanology
Project Number:
Target groups
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME),
Researchers or scientists
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 474,264
The project is carried out in:


Initial assessment of ecological state of Bulgarian marine waters showed lack of data for some descriptors of MSFD. The main goal of MARLEN is to build up tools for assessment of marine environment by implementing new technologies and best practices for addressing three main areas of interest with lack of marine data (Outcome 3.1) in particular: a) Marine litter detection and classification in coastal areas (Outcome 2.1); b) Regular near real time surface water eutrophication monitoring on large aquatories (Outcome 2.2); c) Underwater noise monitoring (Outcome 2.1). The partnership within the project will increase capacity for environmental assessments and training of personnel (Outcome 3.1) and will enhance collaboration between scientific institutes, regional and local authorities (Outcome 3.2). Project results will support implementation of MSFD in Bulgarian marine waters for the benefit of coastal population, marine industry, tourism, marine research and marine spatial planning.

Summary of project results

Marine knowledge is a key element for the assessment and the sustainable utilization of marine resources. When meeting the requirements of the Marine strategy EU directive it became clear that there are substantial data gaps about the Bulgarian sector of the Black sea which in turn does not allow to get exact and comprehensive evaluation of the status of the marine environment. The main objective of the project is to build instruments for the assessment of the status of marine environment through aplication of new technologies, innovations and best practices for data collection for marine litter, eutrphication of surface waters and underwater noise. The main tasks solved include pilot developments for finding, classification and assessment of marine litter on the beaches, on the sea surface and on the sea bed, for regular monitoring of the eutrophication of the surface waters and for monitoring of the underwater noise. A number of activities have been fulfilled including delivery of monitoring equipment, planning of monitoring campaigns, collection, processing and analysis of data, publishing and dissemination of data and project acheivments. As an project outcome a sytem for regular monitoring was created, this covering the eutrophcation of the surface waters by using voluntary ships, which collect data during their trips. Underwater noise data was collected which allows to start a regular process for filling the gaps about noise data in the sea environment. An innovative technology with use of Unmanned Aerial Systems was implemented for monitoring of the litter on the beaches and on the sea surface. Data about the litter in the selected monitoring pilot areas on the beaches, on the sea bed and on the sea surface was collected. The implemented instruments created conditions for speeding up the process for filling in gaps in the data necessary for the assessment of the ecological status of marine environment and for supporting the monitoring plans and the program of measures for reaching good ecological status of marine waters in answer to the Marine strategy EU Directive. The cooperation between the Institute of oceanology, the Black sea basin Directorate and the Burgas Municipality contributed for raising their monitoring capacity towards assessment of the ecological status of marine waters. The project also contributed for raising the knowledge of the broad public about the ecological status of the sea waters and the benefits from keeping them clean.

Summary of bilateral results