This CORDIS Results Pack highlights important and cross-sectoral EU-funded research initiatives that have been working towards ensuring the sustainable future of the Black Sea by supporting its research and innovation ecosystem.
The Black Sea has always left a powerful impression on Europeans throughout history. Today, it is still one of the continent’s most important seas. A unique sea basin, rich in biodiversity, heritage and natural resources, the Black Sea has been a prominent waterway for goods, ideas and people for millennia. But the Black Sea is facing significant challenges, ranging from environmental to human-induced, all contributing to degradation that began as early as the 1970s. The Black Sea region has around 20 million permanent inhabitants spread over seven countries: Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. The region has an added influx of around 6-8 million tourists on average annually. Some 18 major seaports dot the almost 5 000 km long coastline; some of the more prominent being Constanta (Romania), Odessa (Ukraine), Varna (Bulgaria) and of course, Istanbul (Turkey), the largest city on the Black Sea.
In the last 50 years, there has been increasing environmental and ecological pressure on the Black Sea basin. This has mainly been due to the impact of human-induced factors, such as eutrophication (the growth of harmful algal blooms) and hypoxia (loss of oxygen), overfishing and the introduction of alien species. Finally, climate change is also having a clear detrimental effect on the Black Sea. In this Results Pack, we feature six new Results in Brief articles on projects that have recently ended, or are soon to do so. These are a perfect illustration of how initiatives from different marine disciplines have contributed to research on the Black Sea, with the participation of scientists and other stakeholders from the region.
This Pack also includes two entirely bespoke articles, one on the continuing work and legacy of the SIMSEA project, that is still making waves today, as well as an article summarising earlier projects that have inspired current Black Sea research.