Improved Marine Waters Monitoring – IMAMO

Project facts

Project promoter:
Institute of oceanology
Project Number:
Target groups
Researchers or scientists,
Non governmental organisation
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 1,544,336
The project is carried out in:


The Project aims to improve the monitoring capacity and expertise of the organizations responsible for marine waters monitoring in Bulgaria to meet the requirements of EU and national legislation. The main outcomes are filling the gaps in information from the Initial assessment of the marine environment and collecting data to assess the current ecological status of marine waters including information as a base for revision of ecological targets established by the monitoring programme prepared in 2014 under Art. 11 of MSFD. Project activities will ensure data for Descriptors 5, 8 and 9. IMAMO will increase the institutional capacity of the Bulgarian partners related to the monitoring and assessment of the Black Sea environment. The expected outputs are: establishment of real time monitoring and accredited laboratory facilities for analysis of priority substances and specific pollutants will ensure the ability of Bulgarian partners to monitor progress of subsequent measures undertaken.

Summary of project results

A large amount of data is needed in order to make a complete and credible assessment of the state of the marine environment under the Marine Strategy Directive of the European Union for the Bulgarian Black Sea waters. The main objective of the project was to improve the monitoring of marine waters by applying new technologies and best practices to address the lack of data on the marine environment in two main directions: real-time monitoring of the main physical and biochemical parameters of marine waters and monitoring of nutrients, specific pollutants and priority substances in seawater, sediments and biota. By integrating existing and new measuring instruments into a common monitoring system, the real-time monitoring system of the basic physicochemical and biological parameters of the sea water on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast has been built, which has increased the volume of incoming monitoring data and significantly improves the spatio-temporal characteristics of the monitoring process while at the same time achieving a much better traceability of the phenomena and processes in the Bulgarian Black Sea waters. The new data on biogenic elements, specific pollutants and priority substances in marine waters, sediments and biota have been collected during the monitoring cruises, completing the lack of data on the marine environment necessary for environmental assessment, preparation of the monitoring plans and the program of measures for achieving good ecological status of sea water in the Bulgarian Black Sea sector. The Chemical Laboratory of the Institute of Oceanology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is equipped with modern analytical equipment and furnished according to international standards.In collaboration with Norwegian partner the methods of chemical analysis of seawater and sediments are tested and documentation for the accreditation is prepared. The capacity to assess the status of the marine environment has been enhanced, the skill of the technical staff involved in monitoring activities have been upgraded and cooperation between research institutes, national and regional authorities as well as international cooperation in monitoring of marine waters was improved. The awareness of local authorities, the marine business and the population about the state of the marine environment has been enhanced, which promotes more rational and safe use of marine natural resources and the environmental education of young people.

Summary of bilateral results

The collaborative work of the partners during the development of the Chemical Laboratory of IO-BAS allowed them to get acquainted with the analytical instruments, the analytical methods used and the organization of the work. The training, as well as the work on preparing the laboratory accreditation documentation, expanded the number of participants and personal contacts with colleagues from all partners. Intercalibration, as well as meetings during partner visits, enabled scientific discussions. The joint work on microplastics in sediment and biota has contributed to sharing experience and raising the expertise of partners, as well as getting acquainted with colleagues from other Norwegian organizations.