Western open Black Sea

Black Sea

Location of the case study area and leading case-study partner.

Location: Galata area is located in the Western Black Sea (Bulgaria) enclosed between coordinates 43o10 N/28o00 E and 43o09 N/30o46 E. The Western Black sea is a highly productive and human impacted area due to the influence of riverine nutrients loads from the North-Western part, the Danube alone responsible for about 80% of the anthropogenic eutrophication of the basin. The case study area covers a continuum of coastal, shelf (200m) and open sea (about 2000m) domain.



The main human activities in the c.Galata marine environment are land based discharges (with an increasing waste water treatment in past 10 years due to expanded tourism industry ), intensive maritime transport ( an important commercial harbor and port activity), fishing (both pelagic and demersal) and Rapana venosa harvesting. The ecosystem is under the severe pressure of invasive jellies Mnemipsis leidyi and Beroe ovata.

The coastal area includes essential habitats as spawning and feeding grounds for a number of fish species as well as for endangered species of birds and cetaceans. From the species pool of more than 100 species listed in the area 17 are included in IUCN list of endangered species, 30 – in the Black Sea Red Data Book and 6 – in Red Book of Republic of Bulgaria (1985). In the protected area “Galata” 178 avian species have been reported, out of which 34 are included in the Red Data Book of Bulgaria (1985, 2011), one of the most important habitats for Mediterranean petrel Puffinus yelkouan. Species such as the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena relicta), the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis ponticus) endemic for the Black Sea and the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus ponticus) are present in the study area and also included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. The coastal area is proposed for extension of the NATURA 2000 network as a new site.