The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution
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Report Contents

Preface Dedication Acknowledgements Authors
Executive Summary Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Conclusions and Recommendations References
Annexes 1 - 5 Annexes 6 - 9

Marine Litter in the Black Sea Region


Chapter 3 - Existing Institutional Arrangements

Marine Litter Report



The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (the Black Sea Commission or BSC) and its Permanent Secretariat consolidate the regional activities on ML and other types of marine pollution on base of the implementation of the Bucharest Convention and its Protocols (see Section 2.1), and the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea (see Section 4).

There are seven BSC Advisory Groups which provide their expertise and information support to the Commission and Secretariat on following items: (a) pollution monitoring and assessment; (b) control of pollution from land based sources; (c) development of common methodologies for integrated coastal zone management; (d) environmental safety aspects of shipping; (e) conservation of biological diversity; (f) environmental aspects of the management of fisheries and other marine living resources; and (g) information and data exchange. The advisory groups (a), (b), (c) and (d) seem to be the most pertinent to the addressing ML problem, although the other advisory groups are concerned about ML sources, effects and management too. In addition, two ad hoc working groups have been set up for the promotion of the European Water Framework Directive (#2000/60/EC) and for the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the BSC and Danube Commission (the Danube/Black Sea Joint Technical Working Group).

Within the institutional framework co-ordinated by the BSC, seven Black Sea Regional Activity Centres ( RAC) have been established on base of existing national organizations. Four of them may be especially helpful for the development of the regional ML activities:

· RAC on Polllution Monitoring and Assessment (Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of the Sea, Odessa, Ukraine );

· RAC on Control of Pollution from Land Based Sources (Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Provincial Directorate of Istanbul, Turkey )

· RAC on Development of Common Methodologies for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (Department of Natural Resources for Krasnodar Krai / Territory, Krasnodar, the Russian Federation);

· RAC on Environmental and Safety Aspects of Shipping (Marine Environment Pollution and Control Department of the Bulgarian Maritime Administration, Varna Directorate, Varna, Bulgaria ).

BSC possesses co-operation links and options for consultative conversation with other intergovernmental organizations involved in marine pollution affairs at the global and regional level, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Maritime Organization ( IMO), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, Mediterranean Science Commission (CIESM), Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), and different institutions of the European Union (EU). The BSC Secretariat has also relations with the secretariats of the CBD, Bern Convention, CMS and ACCOBAMS (see Section 2.1). The Black Sea states can collaborate with all above organizations directly or through the BSC Secretariat.

UNEP. ML is a priority activity for the UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme. The Governing Council decision 22/2 IIIA on this Programme, calls for the utilization of the regional seas conventions and action plans (including, among them, the Bucharest Convention and the Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea) as a platform for the regional implementation of multilateral environmental agreements and global programmes and initiatives. In resolution 59/25 on “Oceans and the law of the sea”, in paragraph 92, it is recommended that consultative process during its deliberations on the report of the Secretary General, should organize its discussions around, among others, marine debris. Besides, the 8th special session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (2004) adopted appropriate decision SS.VIII/4 on Waste Management. Within this context, UNEP provides support to the BSC Secretariat for the development of Regional Activity on Marine Litter in the Black Sea within the framework of the Strategic Action Plan on Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea (the Memorandum of Understanding between the BSC Secretariat and UNEP Regional Seas Coordinating Office was concluded in 2005).

In 1995, the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) has been adopted under the auspices of UNEP. GPA is an action-oriented programme with the goal of addressing the negative effects of land-based activities on the marine and coastal environment, with special emphasis on the inter-linkages between the marine, freshwater and coastal environment. At the 1st Intergovernmental Review Meeting (2001) representatives of 98 governments[2] expressed their concern that the marine environment is still being degraded to an increasing extent by pollution from different sources. Litter is one of principal pollution categories identified in GPA. It was recommended that states assess problems related to the severity and impacts of contaminants belonging to the principal categories including the ML.

IMO is involved, in particular, in regulatory and technical co-operation activities regarding port reception facilities. IMO maintains the Oil and Litter Information Network and adopted the Guidelines for the implementation of MARPOL 73/78. All Black Sea countries are the members of IMO.

WHO considers the ML problem as important constituent of medical, sanitary and aesthetic issues focused on the safe and salubrious use of the aquatic and coastal environment for public recreation and tourism. WHO published a series of reports on this topic (e.g., WHO, 1990, 1994) and produced appropriate guidelines. The Guide on the Monitoring Bathing Waters (Bartram and Rees, 2000) includes WHO recommendations regarding the methodology of ML surveying on the beaches and at sea (Chapter 12 by A.T. Williams, K. Pond and R. Philipp). The Guidelines for Safe Recreational Water Environments (WHO, 2003) describes possible adverse impacts of the recreational use of coastal and aquatic environments upon the health of users. It also outlines monitoring, control and prevention strategies relating to the hazards associated with these environments. ML issues (including aesthetic parameters, economic consequences, marine debris monitoring and management) are present mainly in Chapter 9 of the Guidelines.

FAO has prepared the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (adopted in 1995) and technical guidelines for the implementation of the Code. Among other things, the Code includes management objectives and measures related to the ML problem: minimization of waste, discards, catch by lost or abandoned gear, prevention of losses of fishing gear, proper handling and storage of shipboard garbage. States should “cooperate to develop and apply technologies, materials and operational methods that minimize the loss of fishing gear and the ghost fishing effects of lost or abandoned fishing gear”. The Fisheries Industry Department of FAO has a programme on the “Impact of Fishing on the Environment”. FAO and IMO are involved in revising the Code of Safety for Fishing Vessels where the effects of litter could be included as an issue of concern (UNEP, 2005).

IOC. The 6th Session of the IOC Committee for the Global Investigation of Pollution in the Marine Environment (1986) recommended developing methodologies and facilitating efforts to monitor the amounts and types of persistent litter in the seas. Some relevant activities, including several pilot ML surveys and assessments, and the development of solid waste management plans, were realized in 1987- 1999 in the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions, and in some places along the coasts of Africa. All Black Sea countries are the member states of IOC. Russia, Turkey and Ukraine are present also in the IOC Executive Council.

CIESM acts for the communication of scientific information and the development of scientific standards across the Mediterranean and Black Seas. In service to science, the Commission promotes cooperation among marine scientists of various disciplines. In service to society, CIESM draws upon its experts and the current scientific knowledge to deliver impartial and authoritative advice on a variety of issues, focused on the dynamics, processes, biodiversity, pollution and lasting protection of the Mediterranean and Black Sea ecosystems. In addition through its monitoring programs, the Commission keeps a watch at the regional level over sensitive indicators of the ecosystem change. Romania, Turkey and Ukraine are the member states of CIESM.

GESAMP is a multidisciplinary advisory panel consisting of independent experts nominated by a number of the United Nations Agencies (United Nations proper, UNEP, IMO, WHO, FAO, UNESCO-IOC, World Meteorological Organization, and International Atomic Energy Agency) involved in the protection of the marine and coastal environment at the global level. GESAMP addresses litter as one of important sources/categories of the adverse impact of land-based activities on the ocean. The priority actions recommended are as follows: improvement of waste materials recycling; improvement of port reception facilities; development of more degradable packaging materials; and improvement of education and public awareness (GESAMP, 2001).

EU environmental policy aims to achieve sustainability by including environmental protection in EU sectoral policies, preventive measures, the “polluter pays” principle, combatting environmental pollution at source, and shared responsibility. There are approximately 200 EU legal instruments covering a wide range of the environment-oriented fields, including water pollution, management of waste, nature conservation, and relevant European criteria and standards. The EU has adopted the Waste Framework Directive (1975), Directive on Hazardous Waste (1991), Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (1996), Directive on the Landfill of Waste (1999), Directive on Port Reception Facilities for Ship-generated Waste and Cargo Residues (2000), Marine Strategy Directive (2005)[3] and some other directives which have certain relation to the ML problem. The Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Waste is one of four priority issues in the EU 6th Environment Action Programme (2001-2010). EU member states must ensure that an environmental impact assessment is carried out before approving certain public and private-sector development projects.

Until recently, there were no EU member states round the Black Sea, however, in 2007 two riparian countries – Bulgaria and Romania – were accepted to the EU, and Turkey has a status of the candidate country embarking on the course of joining the Union. In 2005, Bulgaria and Romania signed the Treaty of Accession to EU, with the objective to make all necessary preparations for their integrating into EU in 2007 or 2008. The negotiations with Turkey whose candidacy application was made in 1987 and accepted in December 2005 continue. The EU Commission started to prepare an Accession Partnership for Turkey, which was declared on March 8th, 2001. On the other hand, the framework regulation designed to furnish the legal basis for the Accession Partnership was adopted by the General Affairs Council on February 26th, 2001. With the adoption of these two documents, an important legal procedure concerning Turkey’s accession strategy was finalized. After the approval of the Accession Partnership by the Council and the adoption of the Framework Regulation, the Turkish Government announced its own National Program for the Adoption of the EU acquis on March 19th, 2001. The National Program was submitted to the EU Commission on March 26th, 2001. Besides, EU has relations (covering the environment protection aspects) with other Black Sea countries. EU is interested in and provides support for institutional, legal and administrative reforms in Ukraine and Georgia. In particular, the Ukraine Country Strategy Paper (2002-2006) and appropriate National Indicative Programme (2004-2006) were adopted by the European Commission in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Environmental issues are included as mandatory ones into the both documents.


A wide variety of governmental organizations, NGOs and business establishments are concerned about marine and coastal pollution in the Black Sea states at the national and local level. Most of these entities, represented by ministerial and municipal structures and services, marine and sanitary inspections, research institutions and universities, port administrations, various agencies, companies and enterprises, and amateur ecological associations, are involved (or can be involved) in the activities addressing and combatting ML problem. The list of national organizations and specialists related to the ML management, research, monitoring, cleanup operations, utilization and public education is presented in Annex 3.

Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters (BMEW), Ministry of Transport (BMT) and Ministry of Public Health (BMH) are at the head of ML activities regulated by the government.

BMEW includes two relevant departments responsible for the coordination and planning – the Department of Waste Management and Department of Waters. This ministry acts through such administrative/executive structures as the Bulgarian Black Sea Basin Directorate (BSBD) and Environmental Executive Agency (BEEA). BSBD has functional branches in the coastal cities of Varna and Bourgas. The Regional Environmental Inspectorates situated in the same cities are entrusted with a task of environmental control.

BMT acts through subordinate structures named as the Bulgarian Maritime Administration (BMA) and Bulgarian Port Administration which have their agencies/subdivisions of the same names in Varna and Bourgas.

The Marine Environment Protection and Control Department of the BMA is responsible for:

· control and protection of the Black Sea environment and the Danube River from pollution caused by shipping;

· administrative investigation in cases of marine pollution;

· examination of vessel’s documentation related to the protection of the marine environment;

· examination of vessel’s construction and equipment aimed to prevent marine pollution;

· control of port reception facilities and waste management plans in Bulgarian harbours and on ships;

· imposing fines and penalties in accordance to the national legislation;

· response to emergency situations accompanied with accidental pollution at sea.

BMH coordinates activities of the Regional Inspectorates for the Protection and Control of Public Health located in Bourgas, Varna and Dobrich. These inspectorates work in tight cooperation with municipalities/administrations of the cities, towns, villages and other populated sites on the Bulgarian coast.

The collected ML and solid vastes are treated in waste incinerators of the Port Varna and Port Bourgas (currently the latter is not in operation) and municipal landfills. There are several enterprises involved in this effort including the collection of ship garbage and port wastes (e.g., Marine Antipollution Enterprise PLC, Port of Bourgas Ltd. and Port of Varna PLC).

Some research institutions of the Bulgarian Academy of Science are interested to participate in ML studies (e.g., the Institute of Oceanology, Central Laboratory of General Ecology, and National Oceanographic Commission).

Bulgarian NGOs involved in ML activities could be listed as follows (alphabetically): the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, Bulgarian National Association on Water Quality (BNAWQ), Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, Greener Bourgas Foundation (GBF), Institute for Ecological Modernization, Mayday Foundation, and ‘Sea Friends’ Marine Club.

Georgia. Two ministries – the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources (GMEPNR) and the Ministry of Public Health (GMPH) – are responsible for the co-ordination of national activities on ML control in Georgia . In this context, for instance, the GMEPNR Department of Water Protection and GMPH Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Supervision might be appropriate managerial authorities. However, according to expert evaluation by Tamar Gamgebeli (National Consultant on ML, GMEPNR Water Protection Department), at present there is no any governmental structure (or ministerial officer) specifically involved in ML management in Georgia in whole. Besides, there are no institutions involved in ML research and monitoring in this country.

The Adjarian Department of the Environment and Natural Resources along with Adjarian Department of Public Health are responsible for ML affairs in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. These governmental bodies are not directly involved in ML management, but mainly in solid waste management in the populated localities (cities, towns and villages) and harbours. In Batumi (capital of the Adjara Autonomy) and other riparian cities/towns of Georgia and Adjara, the solid waste management is carried out by local municipalities by means of their sanitary service (inspectorates), with assistance from the contracted commercial structures. In the ports of Batumi and Poti, local administrations deal with solid waste recipience and disposal also through the contracted firms or derived enterprises (e.g., Batumi Port Ecology Ltd. and Poti Port Office Ltd.). The “Black Sea Eco-Academy” NGO ( Batumi) has some experience in public awareness activities against ML and garbage pollution.

No information is available regarding ML institutional arrangements in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia.

Romania. Central governmental structures involved in the management of ML affairs are represented by the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Water Management (RMEWM; including its Water Department), Ministry of Transportation (RMTCT), Ministry of Public Health (RmPh) and, to a certain extent, by the Ministry of Economy and Trade (RMEC). Contacts with municipalities (such as the City Administrations of Constantsa, Eforie and Mangalia) and other local authorities are arranged with the help of the “Romanian Water” National Administration and the National Environment Protection Agency. These bodies and the RMEWM itself interact also with the subordinate Environment Protection Agencies located in Constantsa (responsible for the Black Sea coastal zone) and Tulcea (responsible for the Danube Delta).

The collecting, transporting and final disposal of ML and household waste are developed by local sanitation companies established in the riparian cities and contracted by the municipalities. Port reception facilities (including services for garbage collection from vessels) and the incineration plant for ship-generated waste are dependent on the Constanta Shipyard. All above activities are authorized by the local Environment Protection Agencies and controlled by the Environmental Guard.

Institutions that could be involved in ML studies and monitoring (as a part of appropriate national system) are represented by: the National Research and Development Institute for Environmental Protection (INCDPM–ICIM), National Institute for Marine Research and Development (INCDM), National Institute for Research and Conservation of Danube Delta, and Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, with advisory assisstance from the Romanian Association for Solid Waste Management (ARS).

The environmental public movement in Romania seems to represent the most dynamic and coherent part of the nonprofit sector, at least in terms of activities conducted (regular coastal cleanup campaigns, public awareness and educational projects). Since 1990, environmental NGOs have constantly promoted networking, and some have reached distinguished levels of organizational development. According to the information presented by Alexei Atudorei (National Consultant on ML, INCDPM–ICIM Environmental Engineering Department), at least eight NGOs are involved in ML-related activities in Romania, including one organization in Constantsa (Mare Nostrum), one – in Cluj (Romanian Ornithological Society), one – in Galatsi (Prietenii Pământului) and five – in Bucharest (“UNESCO for Nature” Ecological Club, Black Sea University Foundation, Group of Underwater Research and Speleology, Romanian Association of Environmental Journalists, and Ecological Cooperation Group). Most of these NGOs (except Mare Nostrum) are situated quite far from the seacoast.

Some major stakeholders are involved in anti-ML cooperation. In particular, the shipping industry provided Romania with incineration plant; the tourism industry is involved in collecting and storage of ML generated on the public beaches near hotels, resorts, etc.

Russia. The central governmental organs which could be involved in solving the Black/Azov Sea ML problem are as follows:

· the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation including the Federal Water Resources Agency;

· the Ministry of Public Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation including the Federal Service on Control in the Sphere of Public Health and Social Development, and the Federal Agency on Public Health and Social Development;

· the Ministry of Tansport of the Russian Federation including the Federal Agency on Marine and Riverine Tansport;

· the Federal Service on Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of the Enviroment; and

· the Federal Service on Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Control.

The regional governmental bodies are represented by environmental, health protection and marine transport authories of two Russian provinces (subjects of the Russian Federation) located at the Black and Azov Sea coasts – the Krasodar Krai and Rostov oblast. Among these authorities a key role could belong to the Department on Emergency Situations and State Ecological Control; Department of Biological Resources, Ecology and Fish Industry Activities (Krasodar Krai); and to the Committee for Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources ( Rostov oblast). The latter committee includes the Division on Management of the Use and Protection of Water Objects which seems to be the most relevant structure in regard to ML issues in Taganrog Gulf of the Azov Sea.

ML collecting services are developed in Russian harbours of Taganrog, Yeysk (the Azov Sea), Port Kavkaz (the Kerch Strait), Novorossiysk, Gelendzhik, Tuapse and Sochi (the Black Sea). Marine administrations of the seaports possess special vessels and organize regular cleanup operations; they collect ML from ships and the sea surface in harbours and anchorage areas.

On the seashore, the belts of sanitary protection are established along the entire coastline. Annually, just before and during summer holiday season, the administrations of coastal cities, towns and settlements carry out cleanup operations on municipal beaches, whereas the administrations of marine resorts, tourist centres and campcites do the same on the beaches used by their guests (holiday-makers).

No information about Russian NGOs interested in Black Sea ML problem was presented by the National Consultant.

Turkey. In Turkey, the Municipalities are the responsible authorities for the storage, transportation, recycling and disposal of the solid wastes. Outside of their authorization areas, the administrative district within the province has the responsibility.

Municipalities are prohibited to dump solid wastes to river beds and coastal zones, and Provincial Directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry are in control of the issue. General Directorate of Borders and Maritinal Health of Ministry of Health monitor the water quality. Ministry of Environment and Forestry takes measures to prevent environmental pollution.

According to the Law for Environment No. 2872, Amended Environment Law No. 5491, Law of the Metropolitan Municipality No. 5216 and Law of the Municipality No. 5393 the local district municipalities are responsible for the collection and transportation of all municipality solid wastes to the transfer stations.

According to the Law of the Environment Article 8; ‘Waste discharging is forbidden to the receiving environment’. Control and audit, with the authorization of Laws and Regulations, belong to Provincial Directorates of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Licence authorization on marine issues such as bilge water and litter is provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and coastal Municipalities.

According to “ Act on Guidelines for Response to Emergencies and Compensation of Losses in Case of Pollution of the Marine Environment from Oil and Other Harmful Substances” the powers, duties and responsibilities regarding drawing up of emergency response plans, implementation of emergency response plans in coastal areas, determination of the type and effects of pollution after the incident are vested in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Undersecretariat of Maritime Affairs; the executionary powers, duties and responsibilities regarding public security and police duties are vested in the Turkish Undersecretariat of Maritime Affairs and Coast Guard Command.

According to regulations on the control of solid waste, discharging of solid wastes into the sea, river and other receiving environments, streets, forests etc. are prohibited.

The implementation of the regulation on collecting wastes from ships has started. The infrastructure suitable for the reception of solid wastes has been established in every harbour. According to the Turkish Law of Environment, the audit and punishment of those polluting the marine environment belongs to the Governorships, however fining ships in municipal borders belongs to the authority of Mayors. The procedure for ships outside the borders is carried out by the Coastal Gendarmerie Command.

The Governorships, Metropolitan Municipalities and Municipalities are responsible for the execution of laws and regulations related to municipal and hazardous wastes. The General Directorate of the Bank of Provinces provide expertise to the municipalities for project development and for the implementation of infrastructural activities while dealing with mapping, development of city plans, construction of sewage and solid waste facilities, carrying out geological and geotechnical studies and construction of municipal waste disposal sites.

Permanent services for ML collecting are developed in some places. Coastal cleanup campaigns are organized periodically by environmental NGOs (e.g., TURMEPA in some tens of Turkish coastal sites and STH in Istanbul) together with municipalities.

Several representatives of major stakeholders are involved by NGOs in the partnership on ML issues: shipping companies (some of them make donations), manufacturers of plastics (CEVKO Foundation took part in recycling activities), fisheries, waste managers (e.g., the Turkish National Solid Waste Committee) and general public. Municipalities, local communities and authorities are rendering their assistance with organizing coastal and underwater cleanup campaigns, public meetings and educational actions.

The importance of environment issues in Turkey is taken very seriously due to the work of the Ministries in the Republic of Turkey and growing public awareness.

Ukraine. The central governmental structures managing issues of ML and wastes in Ukraine are represented by:

· the Ministry of Environmental Protection (it includes the Division of the Black and Azov Seas and three State Ecological Inspections, respectively, for the areas of the North-Western Black Sea, Black and Azov Seas round Crimea, and for the rest of the Ukrainian Azov Sea);

· the Ministry of Public Health (it includes the Department of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control); and

· the Ministry of Transport and Communication (it includes the Department of Marine and Riverine Tansport).

Besides, there are territorial Departments of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (along with appropriate territorial Ecological Inspections) in all seven seashore provinces of Ukraine including the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, Zaporozhye and Donetsk oblasts, and Sevastopol City/District.

Municipal and private companies provide ML/solid waste collection and transportation services being contracted by the municipal authorities and seaport administrations and supervised by above governmental bodies and their local branches. Municipal landfills are often operated by private companies. Most recycling companies are private. A network of centers for collecting and sorting waste paper, glass and other recyclable materials is growing in Ukraine (Stephanska, 2006).

There are at least three research institutions potentially interested in ML studies and monitoring. They are: the Scientific Centre of Ecology of the Sea ( Odessa), Odessa Branch of the Institute of Biology of Southern Seas, and Brema Laboratory ( Simferopol). The latter institution has its own experience in organizing and conducting ML surveys along the Crimean coasts, over the Black and Azov Sea waters of Ukraine and Russia, and in the Kerch Strait (see Section 5.1).

Up to date, only a few coastal clanup operations have been implemented by Ukrainian environmental NGOs (e.g., the Crimean “Ecology and Peace” Association); thus, this public activity is still irregular in most places.