Black Sea Success Story on Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems. Meet “ANEMONE” Winner of the Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda Annual Stakeholder Conference Project Awards 2023 edition

Black Sea Success Story on Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems. Meet “ANEMONE” Winner of the Black Sea Common Maritime Agenda Annual Stakeholder Conference Project Awards 2023 edition

Author: Black Sea Assistance Mechanism

The Black Sea and its coastal and marine ecosystems face significant risks arising from a mix of climate change impacts and unsustainable human activities. Unsustainable human practices, pollution, and overexploitation of marine resources threaten marine environmental health. The effects of climate change are particularly threatening, resulting in sea-level rise, rising water temperatures, acidification, increased flooding and loss of marine biodiversity.  

To address these challenges and ensure the protection and sustainability of coastal and marine resources, the Common Maritime Agenda for the Black Sea (CMA) promotes regional cooperation and collaborative efforts. Moreover, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the Black Sea (SRIA) underscores the importance of generating scientific knowledge to inform decision-making and promote sustainable management practices. 


Stakeholders of the Black Sea blue economy recognise the significance of this priority, with many dedicating concrete efforts to it. At the Black Sea CMA Stakeholder Conference in Bucharest in November 2023, approximately 47% of participants expressed their primary focus on the CMA priority linked with Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems. This priority was included as one of the categories for the Black Sea Project Awards, held during the conference. Modelled after similar successful awards in different maritime regions, the Black Sea Project Awards sought to recognise and highlight outstanding achievements within the Black Sea basin through past projects across three primary categories. 

In this context, the project ANEMONE emerged as the winner of the Healthy Marine and Coastal Ecosystems category, out of the 12 applied projects. Additionally, it was selected by the public as the 'winner of winner’ receiving the prize for the best Black Sea project.  


More about ANEMONE- "Assessing the vulnerability of the Black Sea marine ecosystem to human pressures," winner of the Black Sea Project Awards 2023. 

ANEMONE project concluded activities in 2020, achieving important milestones related to environmental protection in the sea basin. The primary objectives of ANEMONE included enhancing cross-border collaboration and research capacity to address issues such as pollution, eutrophication, and biodiversity loss in the Black Sea. By employing agreed-upon assessment criteria, the project aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the environmental status of the region, enabling informed decision-making. 

Key components of the project involved the development of methodologies for monitoring and assessment, the collection of quality-controlled data sets, and the identification of environmental hotspots within the Black Sea. For instance, the project has:  

  • developed comprehensive guidelines for monitoring programs, identified gaps, and outlined research needs in the Black Sea;  

  • produced publications addressing anthropogenic pressures and their impact on coastal ecosystems in the Black Sea; 

  • conducted assessments on hazardous substances as well as examined the status of marine litter;  

  • devised a tool to assess the cetacean population in the Black Sea, alongside various other valuable resources.  

These efforts were supported by pilot monitoring studies conducted in selected areas, both coastal and open sea, to assess the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems. Furthermore, ANEMONE sought to raise public awareness and stakeholder engagement regarding environmental issues in the Black Sea region. Through educational campaigns and citizen involvement initiatives, the project contributed to fostering a sense of responsibility and stewardship towards the marine environment among local communities. 

After the project concluded, the results were presented at the International Conference 'Science Evidence-Based Decision-Making Approaches for the Implementation of SDGs in the Black Sea Region' during the Session of Invited Case Studies titled 'Citizen Science – Anemone Project Case Study.' Moreover, ANEMONE's project results have been an important step in the development of future activities by its partners and their local network of stakeholders, who continue to work for the health of the Black Sea's marine and coastal ecosystems. 

Overall, ANEMONE represents a coordinated effort to improve the monitoring and conservation of the Black Sea environment, laying the foundation for sustainable management practices and a healthier marine ecosystem for future generations.  

Check out all the deliverables for project here: News – ANEMONE ( 

Check out the project awards ceremony here.   

More info about ANEMONE 


Total Value: € 991 173.71  

ENI contribution € 911 879.81  


Coordinator - National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa” (NIMRD) (Romania) 

Project partner 2 - Mare Nostrum Non-Governmental Organization (Romania) 
Project partner 3 - Institute of Oceanology - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (IO-BAS) (Bulgaria) 
Project partner 4 - Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of Sea (UkrSCES) (Ukraine)  

Project partner 5 - Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey/Marmara Research Center (TUBITAK-MAM) (Turkey) 

Project partner 6 - Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) (Turkey)  



26 July 2018 – 26 November 2020 


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