The pollution of marine waters from various sources - natural and resulting from transport and industrial activity leads undoubtedly to changes in the natural conditions of water through introduction of non sea substances. All this causes to significant changes in the bottom and plankton communities, fish and non-fish marine populations, habitats and in totality changing bionomy of the sea. The main goal of the project proposal is to establish the distribution, biological characteristics and stock assessment of some economic importance non-fish marine resources and output measures to manage them. To achieve the main objective will be examined hydrochemical and hydrobiological parameters of the marine environment along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. The main results provided in the proposal are: to achieve a better understanding of the marine ecosystem, developed tools and models to assessing and predicting the ecological status; developing scenarios, which allow the assessment of the interaction between socio-economic development, climate change and environment. The project results will be useful for the purposes of scientific research community, public environmental organizations, educational institutions, National Agency for fisheries and aquaculture, Ministry of agriculture and food, Ministry of Environment and Water, industry sector "Fisheries" and others.
Summary of project results
Overfishing leads to reduction of the fish stocks and fisheries sector move to exploitation of the shellfish resources. The two species - rapa whelk and black mussel form the main part of the commercially exploited shellfish resources in the Black Sea. The black mussel plays an important role in the Black Sea ecosystem with high filtration capacity and ability to accumulate metals and chemicals, assuring water purification. As well it create specific biotopes that support biodiversity and secure food sources for many fishes. The predatory rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) is an invasive species that has been adapted to the Black Sea and caused damage to native bivalve mollusks. The most affected is the black mussel. Since 1990s, R. venosa became a target of the marine fisheries industry and the rapa whelk fisheries has been practiced by all riparian countries. In Bulgaria, the amount of species catches ranks at second place, after the European sprat. The project objective was to assess the stocks, biological properties and distribution of black mussel (Mytilus galloprovicialis) and rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) in the Bulgarian Black Sea zone through investigation of the actual ecological status of marine environment and determine factors that impact the targeted shellfish resources and proposition of measures for sustainable management these shellfish resources. During implementation were conducted field research in marine environment, laboratory analyses, statistical proceedings, ecological status evaluation, modelling of ecosystem scenarios and elaboration of report with conclusions and measures for sustainable management. To promote a better understanding of the marine environment two round tables, an information day, final conference, exhibition and socio-economic analysis were conducted. A multimedia film was prepared and published. Based on ecological modelling project suggests recovery of black mussels through introduction of areas where beam trawling should be banned for a period of 3 years. The arrangement of a new, forbidden for beam trawling zone is proposed, with an area of 13,500 hectares, located between 25 - 35 m deep between the villages’ Kamchiya and Emona. The simulations show opportunity for proper development of black mussel in the protected areas. The effect of the project is provision of updated information to a wide range of stakeholders - fishery associations and processing industry, national agencies and ministries, the Black Sea Basin Directorate, the scientific community and non-governmental organisations
Summary of bilateral results