COCONET PRESS RELEASE
COCONET- AN EXCITING PROJECT TO SAVE THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEAS.
Coconet Project involves 39 institutions from 22 countries, covering a vast array of subjects, developing a timely holistic approach and integrating the Mediterranean and Black Sea scientific communities through intense collective activities and a strong communication line with stakeholders and the public at large (www.coconet-fp7.eu).
CoCoNet is a unique large project for marine protected areas (MPAs) which includes both the Black and Mediterranean Seas. This year in the Black Sea, a pilot project will be launched in the coastal waters of Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. MPA's are at very preliminary stages in the Black Sea due to various reasons.
More marine protected areas urgently are needed for the Black Sea, because it contains large mass of H2S and its only connection to the ocean is the narrow Istanbul Strait. Its salinity and temperature of the water mass are regulated by the exchange of water from the Mediterranean through the Istanbul Strait. Establishment of the protected areas will help restore degraded and fragile Black Sea ecosystem. Designation of larger areas as marine protected areas will help also reach in 2020 target which is to protect 10 % of the marine water body.
In the Adriatic Sea, too, a Pilot Project will be launched and the results of two Pilot Projects will be one of the important outputs of CoCoNet project. The Adriatic Sea also suffers various anthropogenic stress and again more marine protected areas are needed.
A virtual workshop on oil spill disasters!
Oil spill is one of the disasters caused by human activities. Vast range of organisms are affected immediately in mass and the recovery takes both time and effort. If such an oil spill happens in an MPA, where biodiversity is meant to be protected, the damage can even be more devastating. We should, therefore, be prepared for such oil spills. Under CoCoNet Project, a virtual workshop was done at 17-24 April on "Case Study on Quick-Response Models and Strategies in Case of Accidents Impacting on MPAs" led by UkrSCES. The workshop showed us that he planning and preparedness is the first stage of combatting oil pollution. Another result is how we can succeed in quick response to oil spills within the MPAs. Thus, it surely requires bilateral and regional cooperation among relevant states.