We celebrated the International Black Sea Day in Istanbul



30 October, 2015


Black Sea / Ukraine



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We celebrated the International Black Sea Day in Istanbul




Black Sea Day celebrated in Istanbul 

On October 30, on the initiative of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, the largest city of Turkey celebrated the International Day of the Black Sea, including the invited correspondent of Turprofi.com.ua.

Istanbul’s Point Hotel Taksim gathered representatives from all six Black Sea countries. The host of the event - Turkey - tried to make a special emphasis on the development of its Black Sea coast, which for many years remained in the shadow of the Mediterranean one.

Bayram Ozturk from the Department of Fisheries, Istanbul University, who is also the director of the Marine Research Foundation of Turkey, spoke a lot about the development of tourism on the southern shore of the Black Sea, especially eco-tourism. "We want to change the approach to tourism, making it more oriented towards on the environment, - he told Turprofi.com.ua. - This should be one of the results of our project, COCONET (Coast to Coast Network).”

Mr. Ozturk mentioned, for example, such kind of eco-tourism as bird watching, and spoke about the work on the creation of marine protected areas in the Black Sea (they are planned as many as six),  which do not exist now in Turkey. According to Bayram Ozturk, COCONET sent its findings to the Commission for the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution, and looks forward to their implementation.

At today's event, the Medals of the Black Sea were awarded. Ukraine has received an award – it went to Odessa-based Yuriy Denga from the Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of the Seas, and Bulgaria - the vice-mayor of Burgas Atanaska Nikolova, who in an interview with Turprofi.com.ua noted the importance of the tourism factor in environmental issues. According to her, the tourists are attracted to the coast of Bulgaria by "clean environment", although this year there were fewer Ukrainians.

Another medal was awarded to David Nikoleishvili from Batumi, the founder of the "World of Poseidon" diving center and one of the pioneers of tourist industry in Adjara. He told Turprofi.com.ua: “Business and environment are inextricably linked. Of course, scientists will say that you need to be limited only to research, but in real life it does not happen."

Mr. Nikoleishvili plans to create near Batumi and the Turkish border an underwater park where divers will explore the world of the Black Sea, and thus it will be developing tourism and the environment. He also sent his proposals to Ukraine, where he is trying to find partners for the establishment of a similar center in Odessa or another southern region. "For obvious reasons, the Crimea fell away, but the development of the Black Sea diving is a must. This is not the Red Sea, where everything is so well",  said David Nikoleishvili.

The theme of Crimea was repeatedly touched upon in Istanbul today, but all carefully tried to avoid it. A representative of the Istanbul-based permanent secretariat of the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution Irina Makarenko (by the way, a representative of Ukraine) said at a press conference: "We try to avoid any political issues." However, the screen in the hall today's event depicted Crimea as part of Ukraine. According to Ms. Makarenko, the commission began its work long before the Crimean events, and many academic experts from the peninsula continue to cooperate with it, because the ecology of the sea is a common issue. As well as tourism, she added.

Nevertheless, no-one from Crimea was present in Istanbul today. A representative of Russia, Yekaterina Antonidze from the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Krasnodar Region, told Turprofi.com.ua that  the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea does not cover the Kerch Strait, although she personally believes that the bridge under construction between Crimea and Kuban will harm the environment.

PERSEUS project leader Evangelos Papathanassiou called on everyone to protect the Black Sea from pollution, including pollution from tourists who may not simply do not pollute but to fight it through the Marine LitterWatch application available to all citizens.

Yuriy Svirko, 10.30.2015, Istanbul





Istanbul University


Bayram Öztürk

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