Investigations on the State of the Marine Environment and Improving Monitoring Programs developed under the MSFD - ISMEIMP

Project facts

Project promoter:
Black sea Basin Directorate - Varna
Project Number:
Target groups
Civil servants/Public administration staff
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 558,431
The project is carried out in:


The results of the Initial assessment of the state of the marine environment under Art. 8, 9 and 10 of the MSFD 2008/56/EO and the Regulation for the protection of the environment in marine waters relating to the period 2006-2011 showed that there were significant data gaps and shortcomings which restrict the definition of the set of characteristics for a good status of marine environment, setting environmental targets and associated indicators the different descriptors. In 2014 Bulgaria has an obligation to report to EC developed monitoring programs under MSFD Art.11 on the base of Art. 8,9 and 10. The present programs are already developed by BSBD - Varna in compliance with the deadline of the Directive but with extremely limited human resources. Due to the lack of information respectively misunderstanding for definition of 'Good Environmental Status' (GES) and ecological target and indicators for achieving of it, currently monitoring programs are not fully developed, but it is identified need for studies on the following Descriptors: 1,2,3,4,5,6 and 11. For other Descriptors, there is identified need of deeper investigations. The present project will allow upgrading of information for the Initial assessment of marine environment and understanding of GES. Also it will provide implementation of the EC recommendations under Art. 12 report prepared to the national reports of Bulgaria for overcoming the gaps and shortcomings for preparation and implementation of adequate, coherent and constant monitoring programs in the Bulgarian part of the Black sea marine waters.

Summary of project results

Marine Strategy Framework Directive 2008/56/EO (MSFD) raises significant challenges for the research and evaluation of the status of the marine environment. During the initial assessment of the state of marine environment in Bulgaria serious gaps were identified on data available and the knowledge for defining of the Good Environmental Status (GES) with respect to the 11 Descriptors set by MSFD Project aims: • Partially filling the shortage of data by performing investigations in a pilot area – the aquatory between Cape Galata and Cape Emine • Development of the GES definitions on the particular descriptors, actualization of targets for achieving GES and validation of indicators for achieving of targets or for evaluation the distance to GES • Development of proposals for improvement of monitoring programs • Improvement of cooperation between scientific institutes and state administration • Enchancing the technical capacity for monitoring of the marine environment Project results • A total of 12 expeditions were carried out within the scope of the monitoring campaigns of:  Bottom habitats – zoobenthos and seegrases;Phyto and zooplankton, nutrients and oxygen;Ichthyofauna;Marine mammals  1058 samples were planned, collected and analyzed are 1239 samples • Analysis of the data from the monitoring campaigns and archival data carried out • Water Framework Directive and RDMC classification systems have been developed to assess the status of macrosobenthos in national sand subtypes of habitats • Revised threshold for biogenic substances. The results are also applicable under WFD • Analysis of the data from the monitoring campaigns: - of contaminants in the marine environment and contaminants in fish and other seafood within the scope of the IMAMO related project - of marine litter within the scope of the related MARLEN project • Revised and validated Indicators and environmental targets over all Descriptors • Elaborated thresholds for a number of indicators • Enhanced GES definitions on the descriptors • Improved monitoring programs • Delivered field and laboratory equipment improved capacity for monitoring of marine environment. Trought the project Bulgaria is one of the first countries applied the new requirements. The ISMEIMP project has become the main tool to overcome the gaps in the Initial Assessment and the definition of targets and indicators for GES and practically for the overall implementation of the MSFD. It has a key role at national but also at regional level, by sharing the results with the other Black Sea countries

Summary of bilateral results