Project Activity 2: National Pilot Monitoring Studies (NPMS) – Development and implementation of NPMS for testing and harmonisation of developed by EMBLAS-I drafts of cost-effective National Black Sea Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programmes (N-BSIMAPs) in accordance with reporting obligations under the MSFD, WFD and BSIMAP

(as stated in the progress report # 1 January 2016 – 31 July 2016)

The aim of this PA is to test separate parts of N-BSIMAP and to support the collection of quality controlled and comparable data sets for the Black Sea environmental status assessment via development and implementation of NPMS. Two large scale national pilot surveys planned to be organised in May/June 2016 and May/June 2017 and complemented with longer-term (12 months) pilot monitoring programmes at a few (1-2) selected sites. The field testing of revised, country-tailored N-BSIMAPs including physical, chemical and biological parameters, will be pursued and supported throughout the whole project duration.

Progress of work and delivered results

The Project Activity 2: Implementation of NPMS, as well as the Project Activity 4: Implementation of JOSS are the core project activities, results of which will be the basis of overall success of the project. The efforts of the Project Management Team and the Partner Organizations were focused on preparation of detailed planning of these monitoring cruises.

NPMS Ukraine and NPMS Georgia were carried out as planned, from 17 till 22 May 2016 and from 28 till 31 May 2016, respectively. Experts from Ukraine, Georgia and other five EU countries on board of the Romanian ship Mare Nigrum successfully accomplished the programme of the surveys. NPMS in Russian Federation has been postponed towards end July/beginning August 2016, as it was already announced at the Steering Committee Meeting.

Samples for intercomparison exercises of chemical and biological parameters were taken at three sampling sites with the NPMS/JOSS Ukraine-Georgia surveys, were processed at UKRSCES (chemistry) and IMB (biology) and they were distributed to the project partners. IMB and UKRSCES issued instructions for processing of biology and chemistry samples, respectively.

Chemistry samples (sediments, biota) were prepared and they are being distributed to the involved laboratories in Georgia, Ukraine, Romania, Greece, Czech Republic and Italy (DG JRC Ipsra) and analyses have commenced. All data from NPMS/JOSS GE-UA measured on-board are now available and organised in Excel tables.

First drafts of DCTs for physico-chemical data, chemical data, phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenhtos and macrophytes were developed. New modules for collection of data on marine mammals and results of metagenomics analyses under development – First draft of DCT for macrophytes and marine mammals developed. First drafts of DCTs for target and non-target chemical screening results available.

It has been agreed to use the EEA software for collection of beach litter data (EEA Litterwatch:, Marine Litterwatch Software application for collection of data on floating marine litter has been provided by DG JRC and distributed to all EMBLAS marine litter experts, budget for purchase of needed tablets is allocated. Start of litter monitoring from bridges on rivers entering the Black Sea is expected in August 2016. Collection of beach litter data is planned to be conducted with the use of EEA software (direct upload). A Black Sea Beach Clean Day in each EMBLAS (potentially all Black Sea) country with involvement of public scheduled for September 2016.

The samples collected within NPMS in Georgia and Ukraine are being analysed in respective laboratories and results – filled out Data Collection Templates (DCTs; pre-agreed formats for data delivery) ready for upload to the Black Sea Water Quality Database are expected to be provided in October 2016.

Draft Technical report from the NPMS/JOSS GE-UA with detailed description of the surveys / sampling sites / parameters / methodologies etc. (no discussion on results yet) was prepared by UKRSCES. The Final Summary Technical reports from the NPMS will be available in November 2016.

The NPMS 12 month programs are updated with the proposals of marine litter monitoring schemes prepared by UKRSCES for floating, bottom and beach litter; SOI for floating and beach litter; TSU for floating and beach litter. The activities should start by the end of August 2016. The passive sampling program is also proposed to be included in the document.

A proposal for further extension of the 12 months NPMS for Ukraine has been prepared, to include survey for the Protected Area of Philophora field by UKRSCES.

Planned activities until the end 2016

The project will focus on the implementation of the 12 months NPMS in all three countries and NPMS in Russian Federation. It will also include sample analyses, collection of data with using the customized Data Collection Templates, data assessment in terms of their quality and preparation of the technical reports.

In Ukraine, the 12 month monitoring program that is part of the NPMS is being carried out by ONU, at the at two Pilot Monitoring sites of ONU: Marine Research Station “Zmiinyi Island” (open sea area with minimal anthropogenic pressure and protected area of National Significance) and Marine Biological Station in Odessa (coastal waters with high anthropogenic pressure). Extension of the NPMS to Protected Area of Philophora is planned to start by the end of August/September 2016 with a sampling frequency on a limited number of sites once in 3 months and a wider baseline study in 2017.

In the Russian Federation the organisation and implementation of the surveys and monitoring activities within the NPMS is starting by at the beginning of August 2016 in the locations Kerch and Sochi, led by SOI. The 12 month program will continue at the location Gelendzhik, led by SIO-RAS. These partner organizations will be responsible to organize a relevant research vessel, equipment and supplies as needed.

The 12 months program of NPMS in Georgia will be led by NEA, in cooperation with TSU, the location is to be confirmed. It has been also agreed to organize litter monitoring from bridges on rivers entering the Black Sea in August/September 2016. It is planned to start with economic assessment of instruments and mechanisms for optimisation of monitoring. A short term expert will be hired, with expected start of work in September 2016.

Overview on overall deliverables

  1. Cost-effectiveness assessment of monitoring/economic instruments (evaluation of national budget for BS monitoring and its trends during the last 10 years)
  2. Final N-BSIMAPs presented at three workshops (Odessa, Sochi, Batumi)
  3. Presentation of national road maps to stakeholders at the workshops back-to-back with the training workshops (PA3)
  4. Monitoring factsheets template and Data Collection Templates (DCTs) for each parameter to be measured within the NPMS
  5. Concept of the BS monitoring catalogue (incorporating BS regional Guidelines and agreed SoPs)
  6. Online BS monitoring catalogue and Manual; Workshop
  7. NPMS programmes for Georgia, Russian Federation and Ukraine
  8. NPMS manual
  9. Organisation and implementation of the surveys and monitoring activities within the NPMS
  10. Filled out Data Collection Templates – pre-agreed formats for data delivery
  11. Technical reports from the large scale pilot surveys within the NPMS
  12. Technical report from the long-term (12 months) monitoring pilot study
  13. Final Summary Technical Report
  14. Final version of Biological Guidelines
  15. Organisation of intercomparisons
  16. Technical reports on intercomparisons carried out within the large scale pilot surveys 1 and 2 organised within the NPMS (and information on recommended conversion factors, if needs identified)
  17. Concept on BS sustainable operational monitoring (for inclusion into N-BSIMAP) + stakeholder consultations
  18. Sustainable Operational Monitoring (SOM) reported as a part of the N-BSIMAPs

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