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Black Sea

MSP EU Legend 3

This map was compiled from different international sources such as EMODnet, EEA or Marine Regions. Information obtained from these sources was cross-checked with data from national sources. While compilation was carried out by the European MSP Platform, validation and quality assurance remain the responsibility of the primary data sources.

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blacksea [at] (blacksea[at]maritime-spatial-planning[dot]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)

General Introduction to the Black Sea

The Black Sea region is regarded as a ‘strategic bridge’ an economic, geo-political and trade corridor of strategic importance, connecting to the Mediterranean Sea via the Marmara and Aegean Seas, and Europe with Asia to the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and the Middle East and with south-east Asia and China. It is a dynamic, heterogeneous region of political, economic and diversified societal cultures characterised by the countries’ close ties and their great economic potential, but also by diverging interests. The wider Black Sea region[1] comprises three European Union (EU) Member States (Bulgaria, Greece and Romania), three candidate countries for EU membership (Albania, Serbia, Turkey), five Eastern partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), and the Russian Federation. The Sea of Azov drains into the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait. The Dardanelles Strait is the passage between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

Two of the largest rivers in Europe in terms of discharge – Danube and Dniepr – flow into the Black Sea and contribute to the low levels of salinity in the sea water. Only connected to the World Ocean through the narrow Bosphorus Strait, the Black Sea is an almost closed sea where the deeper layers of water column do not mix with the upper layers, which receive oxygen from the atmosphere. As a result, the deeper layers of water are for the most part anoxic.

The Black Sea region is an important crossroads through which many goods transit. It is an economic area with a potential for blue growth. The region accounts for more than 34% of natural gas and oil imports to the EU; these are mostly produced onshore but recently there has also been development in offshore areas, i.e.  Romania 8% of its overall production is offshore crude, Bulgaria etc.

The semi-enclosed area offers a privileged environment for the development of the maritime activities. Tourism also bears importance for the littoral states and accounts for a significant share of the generated GDP. Fishing and aquaculture also represent important economic activities at regional level with differences between the States. The combination of different human activities performed in the same semi-enclosed area requires good planning, and an even greater cooperation between countries due to the narrowness of the basin.

In order to develop the Blue economy in the region, Black Sea riparian countries[2] and the Republic of Moldova endorsed the Black Sea Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)[3] and the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA)[4] in May 2019.

The Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea  represents a follow-up to the commitment of the 2018 Burgas Ministerial Declaration “Towards a Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea” and a result of a process initiated and backed by the European Commission for the implementation of the Black Sea Synergy

[1] Considering BSEC member states

[2] Bulgaria, Georgia, Russian Federation, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine



Countries and MSP in the Black Sea

Romania : MSP Adopted

Bulgaria: MSP Adopted

Additional infomation