CIESM International Conference on East - West Cooperation in Marine Science
(Sochi, 1-3 December 2014)

Abstracts of Panel communications


Panel [A] - Physical processes in coastal waters
Panel [B] - Geo-hazards
Panel [C] - Invasive species
Panel [D] - Contaminants & marine litter
Panel [E] - Marine biotechnology & society
Panel [F] - Data harmonization

Panels abstracts

Panel [A] - Physical processes in coastal waters

co-moderators : Drs Miroslav Gacic and Andrey G. Zatsepin

Title : From open ocean to coastal seas: numerical modeling across scales.
by Andrea Cucco
IAMC-CNR, Torregrande – Oristano, Italy

Summary :
Operational forecasting systems, capable of predicting ocean and weather conditions provide a rapid and efficient tool allowing decision makers to promptly respond to environmental emergencies on the basis of a technical assessment and risk analysis procedures. A wide variety of numerical systems, based on hydrodynamic and meteorological models, was developed in order to analyse and predict the main physical and biogeochemical properties of European sea waters.
The temporal and spatial variability of the main hydrodynamics is commonly reproduced by structured grid ocean models based on the finite difference method. These systems are generally adequate in open sea or shelf waters, where the geometry is regular or smooth. However, for irregular and complex geometries, such as in coastal areas, these operational tools are not suitable to provide information over the fundamental physical variables controlling the fluid motion, as well as the wind wave propagation and the surface transport processes (Chen et al., 2007).
As a partial solution, nesting procedures are widely used to improve the accuracy of numerical model predictions along coastal areas. Such techniques, if applied between structured mesh ocean models, are generally efficient to downscale the hydrodynamic model solutions only within a restricted downscaling ratio, ranging between 2 and 5 (Denis et al., 2002).
An alternative approach is provided by the use of numerical models based on an unstructured grid, which allows to reproduce the fluid motion, the wind wave propagation and the surface transport processes over different spatial scales (Cucco and Umgiesser, 2006). However, many forecasting systems for predicting operationally the water currents and waves in open ocean are often still using structured grid numerical models (Tonani et al., 2009). They are well tested against measurements and their accuracy is generally high especially when reproducing water surface temperature fields. Therefore, an optimal approach for investigating the main physical properties of coastal and shelf sea waters would be represented by the adoption of nesting procedures combining high resolution numerical models in coastal areas, based on unstructured grid, and coarse resolution numerical model in open ocean and shelf areas, based on structured grid.
Such novel approach to both hydrodynamic, wind wave and pollutant transport modelling was applied to the several areas and test cases along the Mediterranean coastal areas. A set different examples and applications will be described, ranging from the development of oil spill operational systems to the investigation of the main hydrodynamics and transport time scales of semi-enclosed basins up to the support to the design of maritime structures such as harbours and coastal defences.

Denis, B., Laprise, R., Caya, D., Cote, J., 2002. Downscaling ability of one-way nested regional climate models: the Big-Brother Experiment. Climate Dynamics. 18, 627–646
Chen, H., Li, D., Li, X., 2007. Mathematical modeling of oil-spill on the sea and application of the modeling in Daya Bay. Journal of Hydrodynamics, 19, 3, 282–291
Cucco, A., Umgiesser, G., 2006. Modeling the Venice Lagoon residence times. Ecological Modeling, 193, 34–51
Tonani, M., Pinardi, N., Fratianni, C., Pistoia, J., Dobricic, S., Pensieri, S., de Alfonso, M., Nittis, K., 2009. Mediterranean Forecasting System: forecast and analysis assessment through skill scores. Ocean Science, 5, 649–660


Title : The Lagoon of Venice - an example of coastal circulation studies
by Miroslav Gacic
OGS, Trieste, Italy

Summary :
Lagoons are very sensitive water bodies from the biogeochemical point of view. They are under the important anthropogenic influence which on one hand may change the ecological status and on the other their morphology. The former one depends on the human activities and the water discharge into lagoons and the latter is a function of the equilibrium between the sediment input from land and its exchange with the open sea. In the Adriatic Sea two important lagoons are present: Lagoon of Venice and the Lagoon of Marano-Grado, both situated in the north-western part of the sea. Especially endangered is the Lagoon of Venice due to frequent flooding, strong industrial activities and heavy maritime traffic. Since the times of the Venetian Republic number of measures have been undertaken to reduce the sediment input from a number of rivers. This has resulted in the continuous net sediment losses. Another important phenomena which cause rather important damages to the city of Venice on a long term time scale, is meteorologically induced high sea-level episodes and the city floods. In order to prevent mitigate their negative effects, system of mobile damns has been under construction and will probably be put into function in 2017.

In the early 2000s intensive studies were carried out in order to understand water and sediment exchange dynamics between the lagoon and the open sea. This on one hand, gave as a result the quantification of the water flow through the lagoon inlets and their response to the tidal, wind and, in general, atmospheric forcing and, on the other based on these studies, it was possible to estimate both water and the sediment long-term balance. The relationship between the sea-level variability and the water flow for different wind pattern has been established. In addition, the current field in the close vicinity of the lagoon inlets was studied using the coastal radar measurements giving the possibility to describe in details the submesoscale flow pattern in function of either the wind or the outflow/inflow states. Special attention was given to the water exchange pattern associated with the characteristic winds in the area, mainly responsible for the city of Venice floods. Also, sea level distribution within the lagoon has been studied and connected with the wind forcing; northerly winds generating strong longitudinal sea level differences reaching up to 15 cm over the 50 km distance.


Title : Numerical model of the hydrodynamics of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov with refinement near Bay of Gelendzhik
by A. Gusev, V. Zalesny, V. Agoshkov, S. Moshonkin
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
The problem of the numerical modelling of the Black Sea large-scale circulation is considered. The INMOM (Institute of Numerical Mathematics Ocean Model) is used. The model is based on primitive equations written in spherical s-coordinates with a free surface in the hydrostatic and Boussinesq approximations. The structure of numerical algorithm is described. The algorithm is based on the method of multicomponent splitting and includes splitting by physical processes and spatial coordinates. The equations of sea dynamics are written in a symmetrized form. The problem is split into several energetically balanced subsystems (splitting by physical processes). Each subsystem can be additionally split into subsystems of a simpler structure (splitting by spatial coordinates).The computational area is constructed in the spherical coordinate system with shifted point of the North Pole which is placed in the vicinity of Bay of Gelendzhik to increase the spatial resolution near Gelendzhik coast where the SIORAS hydrophysical polygon is situated. The preliminary numerical experiment is performed consisting in simulating Black Sea hydrodynamic fields. The results of the experiment are presented.


Title : Mesoscale and frontal scale processes regulating plankton production in the Black Sea food web
by Temel Oguz
Institue of Marine Sciences, METU, Erdemli, Turkey

Summary :
The narrow peripheral zone around the Black Sea maintains persistently high biological production at all trophic levels with respect to the cyclonic interior cell and this phenomoenon is explained customarily by the anthropogenic-based nutrient enrichment process. Except coastal regions, the long-term and large scale impact of eutrophication is to build up nutrients in the chemocline so that they are made available into the phopic layer for new production repeatedly by an appropriate physical driving mechanism. We describe an eddy - resolving physical - biological model study to document the frontogenesis as the mechanism for supporting an enhanced biological activity within the Black Sea peripheral waters. It arises under the conditions of moderate-to-highly nonlinear and unstable rim current and thus collapse of the along-front geostrophic balance. Strong upward vertical velocities (up to 100 m day-1) of the resulting ageostrophic cross-frontal circulation augment nutrient capacity and thus phytoplankton biomass of surface waters (~ 1.0-2.0 mmol N m-3) on the less dense, coastal anticyclonic side of the front relative to the cyclonic offshore side. This process may prevail throughout the year in regions where the frontogenesis mechanism takes place, but it may also be supported by the buoyancy-induced vertical turbulent mixing during autumn-winter due to the effect of buoyancy-induced cooling. The eddy-induced horizontal and vertical nutrient transports introduce further complexity into the system by distributing nutrients and biogenic material over the basin.


Title : Moored automatic mobile profilers (MAMPs) for continental margins of the ocean
by Alexander G. Ostrovskii
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Modern MAMPs provide cost-effective profiles of density, velocity, and water quality (i.e. fluorescence, nutrients, dissolved oxygen) at high temporal and vertical resolution over extended durations in a variety of marine environments and are an important component of modern ocean observation systems. While several different types of MAMPs are in use today, they all consist of a single instrument package that is raised and lowered through a specific depth range at pre-programmed intervals, allowing observation of intermittent processes and vertical ocean structure. Oceanographic data collected during recent deployments of the moored profiler Aqualog in the northeastern Black Sea highlight its capability as a tool for multidisciplinary oceanographic observations at the continental margin.


Title : Dense shelf water cascading in the north-western Mediterranean: An overview.
by Pere Puig
Institut de Ciències del Mar, ICM-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain

Summary :
Cascading of dense shelf waters is a global oceanographic phenomenon whose effects on sedimentation processes on continental margins have been poorly studied and largely underestimated. The north-western Mediterranean is one of the regions of the world where massive dense water formation occurs because of cooling and evaporation of surface waters during winter-time. Concurrent with the well known open-sea convection process on the MEDOC region, coastal surface waters over the wide shelf of the Gulf of Lion also become denser than the underlying waters and cascade downslope during sustained periods of time until reaching their equilibrium depth. Through this climate-driven phenomenon, dense shelf waters carrying large quantities of particles and associated elements in suspension and as bed load are rapidly advected hundreds of meters deep, mainly through submarine canyons, acting as an efficient cross-margin transport mechanism. Numerous mooring observations collected recently in the north-western Mediterranean in the context of successive research efforts have allowed characterizing the sediment fluxes associated to this phenomenon and identify several morphological evidences of sediment erosion and deposition attributed to dense shelf water cascading. Additionally, deep-sea hydrographic observations after major cascading events indicate a direct effect on the Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW) thermohaline properties and a subsequent formation of a thick and persistent bottom nepheloid layer that can spread throughout the western Mediterranean basin.

While this process starts to be relatively well understood in terms of water and sediment transport, many scientific questions arise on how the large fluxes associated with this phenomenon may determine the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems in the north-western Mediterranean. Recent findings suggest that dense shelf water cascades from the Gulf of Lion have a direct effect on the long-term fluctuations of deep-sea fisheries and on the distribution of cold-water coral communities. Because of the flushing and recurrent behavior of major deep-reaching dense shelf water cascading events (i.e., approximately once every 6-7 years), a continuous monitoring of this phenomenon should be necessary to assess in detail its effects and implications in the deep-sea ecosystem and living resources. Since cascading of dense shelf water from continental shelves is a global phenomenon whose effects may have been largely underestimated, it can be anticipated that, under present conditions, cascading sites identified worldwide could constitute preferential regions for active contemporary sediment transport, from the coastal ocean to the deep basins, along with the associated consequences. Overall, their influence on deep-sea ecosystems worldwide could be larger than previously thought, and in that sense such oceanographic phenomenon should be properly studied using a trans-disciplinary approach.


Title : Usage of remote sensing data for marine ecosystem study.
by S.V. Stanichny, Burduyugov V.M., Davydova E.P., Kalinin E.I.,  Kubryakov A.A., Soloviev D.M., Stanichnaya R.R.
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Sevastopol, Russia

Summary :
Satellite data from AVHRR, MODIS, SeaWiFS, ETM+, OLI, TIRS and other sensors presented for description of the processes and phenomena in the Black Sea and particularly in its coastal zone.
Next topics are discussed:

- Anomalous blooms and role of the wind impact on different temporal scales,
- Mesoscale and submesoscale processes,
- Existence and manifestation of the phenomena in different spectral ranges, advantages of the multi-spectral, multi-platform approach,
- Pollutions and system for control on the base of satellite data.


Title : Coastal zone permanent ecological monitoring at the selected polygons: example from the Black Sea.
by A.G. Zatsepin
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
A polygon for permanent ecological monitoring of the Black Sea coastal zone based on combined utility of anchored autonomous measuring platforms and regular multidisciplinary R/V surveys is developed by SIO RAS in the north-eastern Black Sea. The polygon occupies an area of 15*10 km2 near Gelendzhik, where the Southern Branch of SIO RAS is situated and used as a monitoring center. Three types of autonomous platforms are exploited: 1) acoustic Doppler velocity profiler (ADCP) at the bottom station, 2) thermo-chain at the mooring line, 3) robotic profiler "Akvalog" at the moored buoy station. By these platforms the long rows of hydrophysical and bio-optical data (vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, density, current velocity, acoustic backscatter, water transparency, chlorophyll_”a” fluorescence, etc.) of high spatial and temporal resolution are obtained. In the report selected results of the observations fulfilled at the SIO RAS Black Sea ecological polygon are described and analyzed.


Panel [B] - Geo-hazards

co-moderators : Drs Eugene Kulikov and Jean Mascle

Title : Monster waves in Russian Waters
by Ira Didenkulova
Nizhny Novgorod State Technical Univ. n.a. R.E. Alekseev, Russia

Summary :
The ever growing use of coastal territories requires taking into account risks related to marine hazards. While storm related hazards, which are in the responsibility of hydrometeorological service and the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations, are monitored, the situations related to tsunamis in Russian internal waters and rogue waves and caused by them flash floods are not considered. The recent history of such events occurred in Russian waters is re-examined. The mechanisms of rogue wave formation and their risks for Russian coastal waters are studied. The tsunami risk for Russian internal seas (Black, Caspian and Baltic Seas) and waters (water reservoirs, rivers and lakes) is discussed.


Title : Numerical modeling of the extreme bora events over Black and Mediterranean Seas
by Alexander Gavrikov
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Realistic numerical simulation of the extreme bora events is highly important for understanding mechanisms driving the bora dynamics and forecasting of associated weather extremes. Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) nonhydrostatic numerical model was used to simulate the bora event in January - February 2012 over the northeastern coast of the Black Sea. This was the most intense bora since 1997 in the Black Sea. Observed wind speed during the event has exceeded 30 m/s with the gusts of up to 45 m/s. Simulations were performed using nested grids with spatial resolution for the outer domain being 9 km and for the interim and inner domains 3 and 1 km respectively. Results of the simulations have been validated against instrumental measurements at the coastal stations. We were capable of simulating realistic bora features, including also response of off-shore winds to the local topography that was well compared to the co-located satellite observations.


Title : Wind Wave Modeling in extreme storms of the Black Sea
by Ilia Kabatchenko, Vvedenskiy A.R., Litvinenko G.I., Fomin V.V.
State oceanographic institute, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Black sea is one of “quietest” among the seas surrounding Russia. The average wind wave energy in comparison with the majority of the seas of Russia is insignificant. In spite of it, there are messages about exceptional destructions of the engineering constructions caused by storms at its coast and about the ships which sank on its water area from time to time. Such tragedy occurred on Black sea in the fall 1854 during, so-called « Balaclava storm » when the all of the thirty four ships of the English NAVY sank.
Such events continue to occur now. There are three storms that had the greatest destructions in the northwest of the Black sea last years. The storm which took place at coast of Crimea on November, 9th, 1981 when the gas platform was destroyed and the new breakwater which had been just built in the Sevastopol bay was damaged. The storm on November, 11th, 2007 in the Strait of Kerch during which 10 ships were damaged and four of them sank. And the storm which was in the area of the Big Sochi on December, 13th, 2009 that led to destruction of the cargo port in area of the Mzimta creek.
Using the modern model of wind wave in all of these storms helped to calculate the wave field and to identify the reasons.


Title : Seismic hazard assessment of the offshore section of South Stream gas pipeline route across the Black Sea
by Leopold I. Lobkovsky, Alexey I. Ivaschenko*, Sergey A. Kovachev
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
For seismic hazard assessment of the offshore section of South Stream gas pipeline route across the Black Sea some stages were executed:
• The review of seismotectonic data for the Black Sea region including prior studies and available earthquake catalogs.
• The analysis of the microearthquake records of the short-term OBS observation at the Black Sea bottom along pipeline route.
• The performing PSHA (Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment) for selected sites along the pipeline route including:
1. the development of the source zone and magnitude-frequency models,
2. the selection of appropriate ground motion attenuation models,
3. the development of the logic-tree model to account for uncertainties,
4. the calculation of design PGA, PGV, and uniform 5%-damped RSA for selected sites assuming uniform soil profile (basement) and for return periods 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 yrs.
• The disaggregation of the PSHA results and determination of magnitudes and distances dominating the long-period and short-period hazard for selected sites and return periods of interest.
• The generation of appropriate time histories of acceleration consistent with PSHA and disaggregation results for selected sites.
The earthquake catalog of historical earthquakes includes 2906 events (update as Dec 1, 2011) was compiled, but only 1429 events (~ 50%) were of moment magnitude Mw > 5, i.e. of engineer interest. We excluded 925 remote events of moment magnitude Mw < 7.5 occurred in Turkey as they can’t affect the pipeline, and remain only 17 events of moment magnitude Mw > 7.5 from Turkey as they can dominate long-period hazard for pipeline. Following the same reasoning we excluded 307 events occurred in the Carpathian region and remained only 3 events with Mw > 7.5, and, finally, excluded all 45 events occurred in the Main Caucasus region because no events with Mw > 7.5 is known for that area. The remaining 152 events (~ 5% of total catalog) characterize seismic activity within the pipeline route corridor ±250 km in width. The catalog seems to be complete for the last 100 years, except the Central Basin, for which the completeness interval is ~ 80 yrs.
Based on historical data, seismic activity along the planned South Stream pipeline routes appears to be low to moderate except for the ANAPA landfall area and VARNA landfall area. Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) for the planned South Stream pipeline route has been performed. 206 sites were evenly spaced along the pipeline routes with a step of about 7 km on average.
PSHA results: For the return period T = 1000 years:
Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) changes along the pipeline route from 0.33 g at the ANAPA landfall to about 0.10 g within the Central Basin, and to 0.28 g at the VARNA landfall.
In the Central Basin PGA is about 0.22 g near the suspected existence of active faults in this area, otherwise PGA would be about 0.10 g. The presence of active faults needs to be confirmed by further investigations.
The long-period hazard at the VARNA region is slightly dominated by large earthquakes that occur in Vrancea and Turkey regions. However, the short-period hazard is completely due to local earthquakes as it follows from disaggregation of the PSHA results.
Calculated PGA, PGV, and 5%-damped RSA as well as generated time histories for characteristic points and different return periods are recommended for design.


Title : Marine Geo-Hazards in and around the Mediterranean Sea
by Jean Mascle
Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche sur Mer, France

Summary :
What are the main catastrophic geo-hazards that could affect the Mediterranean Sea coasts? They are the same as elsewhere: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions submarine slides and, one or their consequences, tsunamis. One of the specificities of the Mediterranean is that these events occur in a narrow domain where almost 500 millions people are living, including 160 millions directly on the seashore, and visited each year by more than 300 millions tourists! So the Mediterranean Sea, the cradle of the Western civilization, is particularly sensitive to natural geo-hazards. Since historical times, we know that geo-hazards have always played a major role in the evolution of human societies around the Mediterranean Sea (Santorini, Pompei, Alexandria, Messina, etc,). Similar catastrophic, and less damaging, events may today still occur in and around the Mediterranean Sea and still remain difficult to be predicted!

Most of the catastrophic geo-hazards occurring in the Mediterranean Sea are consequences of its specific plate tectonic configuration, inherited from a long-term geological evolution (more than 200 Ma). Today the Mediterranean Sea is made of two main basins of different ages (more than 150 Ma and less than 30 Ma respectively) almost totally surrounded by mountain chains resulting from subduction and collision of former oceanic spaces and of their continental margins. A direct consequence of this setting is an intense, widely but not equally, distributed, seismicity activity. A cloud of seisms, including some with magnitude higher than 7, is superposed to the Anatolian and Aegean regions; this activity results from three parameters (1) the subduction of the African plate beneath Eurasia, (2) the lateral escape (with respect to Europe) of the Anatolian micro-plate and (3) the stretching of the Aegean continental crust. Westwards the Aegean seismic nest connects with a less active seismic belt passing through the various Alpine mountain chains, and the Apennines. Another intensively active seismic zone can be seen over southern Italy; its underlines the subduction of the African lithosphere beneath Europe, particularly beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea, and connects through Sicily with a another belt of earthquakes superposed to the North African coastal chains and the Atlas mountains. To the west the Iberian micro-plate is surrounded by moderate seismic activity, which connects progressively with the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Another consequence of plate convergence is the presence of active, or historically active, chiefly explosive, volcanoes delineating the Aegean volcanic arc and the Aeolian Islands. Two others volcanic domains, not directly related but interfering with subduction processes, are particularly active nearby the area: the Vesuvius and the Phlegraean fields nearby Napoli and Mount Etna in North-Eastern Sicily.
All systems represent permanent risks, which have to be continuously monitored. Submarine earthquakes, volcanic activities and submarine slides may moreover generate tsunamis, which are among the most frequent catastrophic events but have been until recently often neglected since their geological records remain difficult to assess. Submarine earthquakes trigger most of the major tsunamis whose resulting waves are crossing regional basins before to hit the opposite, northern or southern, coasts tens of minutes later. More local tsunamis may be generated as consequence of submarine sedimentary, or volcanic, failures; such events may quickly (few minutes later) impact the neighboring coasts where they may also induce important damages. Most of the continental slope of the Mediterranean continental margins being either quite steep, or highly sedimented, may be submitted to large-scale destabilizations and therefore may be considered as areas to be surveyed for slope stability. Catastrophic (instantaneous) geo-hazards are the most spectacular and as such remain in the historical memory and are even sometimes at the origin of myths. Others natural, but slower, geological events have however to be considered when trying to evaluate the various marine-related risks occurring in the Mediterranean Sea; the most obvious of them relates to the sea level fluctuations and particularly to sea level progressive rise, itself related to climatic fluctuations.


Title : From Tsunami Early Detection and Warning to Multi Hazards Early Detection and Warning
by Sergiu Dov Rosen
Haifa, Israel

Summary :
In November 2005, following the terrible the Indian Ocean tsunami event, the Tsunami Early Warning and Mitigation System in the North-eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and connected seas (ICG/NEAMTWS) was established by an Intergovernmental Coordination Group (delegates of IOC/UNESCO member states). It was established because the Mediterranean region ranks second in the world, in the number of tsunami events which occurred in the last ~3000 years. The tsunami majority (~88%) are generated by earthquakes (~75% by direct tectonic plate movements; ~8% by earthquakes induced submarine landslides; ~5% by volcanic eruptions). Of the remaining 12%, 2% are meteo-tsunamis and 10% of unknown source. Detection of an earthquake magnitude and its epicentre location takes nowadays a few minutes and a few more are needed to estimate its hypocentre below sea bottom. If the hypocentre depth is smaller than 100km, the earthquake has tsunamigenic potential. Not all strong shallow earthquakes generate tsunamis, hence confirmation of tsunami generation is necessary. Detection is done by monitoring sea surface fluctuation at sea level stations and/or by sea bottom located pressure sensors.

The MedGLOSS sea level monitoring network established jointly by CIESM and IOC/UNESCO, with many stations donated by CIESM (two in the Black Sea), has been used as one of the founding bricks of the NEAMTWS real time (RT) sea level monitoring system. Presently, the NEAMTWS sea level stations transfer RT data (requested update every 1’, yet not all complying) to the IOC Sea Level Data Facility, and displayed “AS IS” on the Internet, with no quality control. The NEAMTWS present state loses time waiting for tsunami confirmation before its dissemination. Furthermore, in an earthquake induced landslide on the continental shelf, the existing system is unable to detect a landslide or tsunami generated by it. Moreover, if the seismic waves of a strong earthquake with the hypocentre > 100km, reach a shelf with fine unconsolidated sediments (e.g. off Nile delta), they may become strong enough to trigger landslide induced tsunami. A relatively new early tsunami detection method, based on high frequency multi antenna radar system was developed and proven effective (WERA HF Radar). It is able to detect and monitor tsunami of any type (at about -100m depth contour) with a detection delay of 3’. Furthermore, it is able to simultaneously monitor the waves (directional wave spectrum) and the surface currents, up to about 200km from the coast, as well as the wind directions over the area covered between any two neighbouring stations and the offshore 200 km boundary.

Since tsunamis are relatively infrequent events, although of high damage potential, a hybrid multi hazard early warning system, based on HF Radar stations, combined with RT national sea level monitoring stations providing RT quality controlled sea level data, would constitute a significant enhancement to existing NEAMTWS. It would improve early detection and warning reliability, from a multitude of marine hazards including all tsunami types, storm surge (and meteo-tsunamis), wind and wave storm events and floods induced by reduction of the flow gradients due to high levels at river mouths. In addition, the costs of maintenance and operation would be reduced and more justifiable.

For this, cooperation in provision of RT sea level data from Russian stations in the Black sea and for establishing a multi hazard early warning system in the Mediterranean and Black sea is necessary.


Title : Active Geology and Marine Geo-Hazards at the Black Sea Outflow: The Aegean Region
by Dimitris Sakellariou
HCMR, Athens, Greece

Summary :
The Aegean Region (Hellenic Arc and Back-Arc, Aegean and Ionian Seas) has been for several million years and continues to be the site of long-term crustal movements, deformation and geodynamic processes, which frequently give birth to violent, short-term, catastrophic, geological events, called hereafter geo-hazards. Large earthquakes, seafloor ruptures, uplift or subsidence of shorelines, earthquake triggered or aseismically developed submarine landslides, major or minor submarine or island volcanic eruptions occur within the various tectonic settings of the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Some of these marine geological processes in the near past have triggered small or large tsunamis, some of which were disastrous for the Aegean, Ionian or even Eastern Mediterranean coastal region.

Information on the effects of the past disasters are very diffuse, especially if they took place in earlier times, and the reliability of the available tsunami catalogs has been questioned and reexamined. But even so, similar processes are expected to and will occur in the near or far future. If we consider that the coastline of Eastern Mediterranean Sea is much denser populated than it was in the past, it is easy to imagine the tremendous disaster they can cause.

It is thus of great importance that scientists from all different disciplines, like marine geologists, seismologists, modelers, engineers etc, join forces, resources and efforts in order to better understand triggering mechanisms and occurence of marine geo-hazards.


Title : Geohazard evaluation based on GIS and remote sensing in the context of cliff/bluff erosion vulnerability along the Bulgarian coast
by Margarita Stancheva, Robert Young and Hristo Stanchev
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Varna, Bulgaria

Summary :
The continuing increase in coastal population requires adequate and reliable information for the assessment of various geohazards associated with coastal erosion, landslides, wave attacks, floods and tsunami. In Bulgaria major hazards related to geological structure of the coast and subsequent processes are cliff erosion, coastal landslides and flooding of low-laying territories due to extreme sea level rise. Coastal erosion and landslide phenomena generate significant economic, social and environmental costs. Currently, coastal erosion is a widespread process along the 412 km long Bulgarian Black Sea coastline, as 60 % of it comprises an eroding cliff. In order to find the most relevant solution to control coastal erosion, it is important to determine its reasoning. Different factors contribute to increase of erosion and landslides along the Bulgarian coast: 1) environmental factors, like geological settings of the coast, shortage in sediment supply, sea level rise and more frequent storm surges, etc.; and 2) factors related to human activities, such as coastal urbanization, expanded developments and armouring coastline by hard engineering structures (dikes, seawalls and solid groins).
High Resolution (HR) orthophotos, along with solid geological data, can be integrated within a GIS database to produce maps of coastal vulnerability with good accuracy. This information will help to guide development planning in coastal areas that might potentially be subject to erosion, storm surge flooding and other coastal hazards both at the present time, and increasingly in the future in response to projected sea level rise.
A modern, geomorphic GIS-based classification of the Bulgarian coast has been developed to provide the basis for identifying and evaluating those areas most prone to various coastal hazards. Several types of data were used: HR orthophotos, topographical maps in 1:5,000 scale and geological maps. Geomorphic classification utilized both geomorphological and engineering criteria. A total of 867 segments were delineated along the coast. 465 were classified as natural landforms (cliffs, beaches, river mouths) with a total length of 362,62 km and 402 were indicated as technogenous segments (port and coast-protection structures, artificial beaches) with a total length of 70 km. Based on the geologic materials present at each segment and cliff height, the cliffed portions of the Bulgarian coast were classified for expected erosion rates, and therefore, hazard vulnerability: low hazard (volcanic type cliff); moderate hazard (limestone type cliff) and high hazard (loess and clayey types cliff). This “predictive model” was then compared to a previously published field study of coastal erosion rates to validate the model. As a result, a new high quality, but qualitative data for Bulgarian coastal bluff/cliff erosion were obtained, incorporated and analysed in GIS. As the erosion rate and vulnerability of the coastline is constantly changing due to natural and anthropogenic factors, the erosion sensitivity map supported by HR digital orthophotos and GIS methods is very useful in identifying cliff locations along the Bulgarian coast that may be most susceptible to erosion. These areas, especially when coincide with densely populated areas, should be closely monitored.


Title : A silent hazard: Widespread occurrence of tsunami-like waves in the Mediterranean and Black Seas generated by high-altitude atmospheric forcing
by Ivica Vilibic, Jadranka Sepic, Alexander B. Rabinovich, Sebastian Monserrat
Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Split, Croatia

Summary :
Meteorological tsunamis (“meteotsunamis”), also known as "rissaga" (Balearic Islands), "sciga" (Adriatic Sea), and "marrubbio" (Sicily), are destructive tsunami-like waves generated by atmospheric disturbances (atmospheric waves, pressure jumps, frontal passages, squalls). Strong meteotsunamis are usually not associated with extreme atmospheric events, such as hurricanes or major storms, but with marginally detectable changes in atmospheric pressure (often caused by atmospheric gravity waves) that frequently take place during times of calm and pleasant weather; their formation is related to very specific and comparatively rare resonant situations that lead to strong amplification of the initial waves. A series of meteotsunamis with height of up to 3 metres struck several southern European countries during the period 23 to 27 June 2014, causing considerable damage and distress from Spain to the Ukraine. Coastal observations reveal that the wave events coincided with a period of calm surface weather but very strong upper tropospheric winds embedded in dynamically unstable atmospheric layers that were propagating eastward across the Mediterranean. This unique synoptic weather pattern favoured generation and propagation of a great number of atmospheric disturbances over much of the Mediterranean, providing a clear and quantifiable link between the synoptic pattern, surface air pressure disturbances and the destructive tsunami waves. This is the first documented case of a chain of destructive meteorological tsunamis occurring over a distance of thousands of kilometres, as meteotsunamis are normally localised to a basin not larger than a few hundreds of kilometres. The June 2014 event is the only Mediterranean-wide destructive event observed in the last half-century, a period for which tide gauge measurements and eyewitness reports are available. This suggests either a long return period for such events or a link to climate change. Either way, it is clear that the threat from meteotsunamis should be incorporated within future tsunami warning systems.


Panel [C] - Invasive species

co-moderators : Drs Bella Galil and Tamara Shiganova

Title : Mediterranezation as a main factor determined current ichthyofauna diversity in the Black Sea.
by A.R Boltachev, Karpova E.P.
IBSS, Sevastopol, Russia

Summary :
The Black sea is a unique water reservoir, in which at quite small time term one can observe sequences of natural cataclysms and different human activity forms for the state of all its ecosystem. Permanent process of mediterranization – penetration of hydrobionts from Mediterranean sea to the Black sea, which lasts for about 8 thousand recent years after the last renewal of the water exchange between these seas is the main nature fact, determining formation of the flora and fauna in the Black sea.
Part of the Mediterranean migrants adapt to quite rigid conditions of the Black sea and form stable self-reproductive populations up to formation of so called “new autochtone” sub-species and even species, which is a theme for separate investigations. Unique nature of the Black sea ichthyofauna, which includes autochtone grouping of the salty water Pontic – Caspian endemics, anadromous and fresh water fish and allochtone Mediterranean invaders was described already by the first investigators of the Black sea P.S. Pallas, K.F. Kessler and others.
On the base of their fundamental ichthyologic data it could be possible to conduct the studies of continuous competition between representatives of these groupings, in which by species diversity and abundance marine euribiontic species – invaders win. But we should consider, that at about 100 last years anthropogenic factor plays considerable role in the changes of the Black sea ecosystem structural characteristics.
According to the results of original and literature data at the last 20 years findings of 30 alien marine fish species were registered reliably; of this number 19 were registered for the first time, and 11 earlier known by singular exemplars were found in new parts of the sea coastal zone. Among new species only two do not belong to the Mediterranean basin (Tridentiger trigonocephalus, Heniochus acuminatus); their penetration from the far regions of the World ocean is possibly connected with human activity. Determination of a level of their naturalization and influence on the native biocenoses is the most important moment in the studies of problems, connected with species – invaders.
As a result ofr using complex monitoring researches in the Black sea coastal zone of Crimea with fishing and different not standard methods of catching 24 new for this sea region sea fishes were found by the present time; 10 of them were registered for the first time for the Black sea and this figure is bigger than for the other regions of the sea. Of all these species by the present time 13 naturalized and formed local populations, and two – Parablennius incognitus and Pomatoschistus bathi distributed along considerable part of the Black sea coast. Three species are met sporadically and 8 are occasional, known by singular findings. The base of those naturalized species (10) is made by small cryptobenthic fish mostly from Gobiidae families, having hiding way of life, that is why it is quite problematic to find out more or less exact time of their intrusion. Majority of them belong to the Eastern- Atlantic or Mediterranean ichthyofaunic complex, but also they registered autonomous penetration to the south-western Crimean shore of two Indo-pacific species – “lessepsian” migrants Sphyraena pinguis and Lalocephalus sceleratus.
Organization of the monitoring investigations of the fish species diversity in all the regions of the Black sea coastal zone will help to reveal a real picture of alien species distribution in the Black sea.


Title : Invasive species in the Mediterranean and Black Seas: insights into knowledge gaps and into their management
by Charles F. Boudouresque
Univ. Aix-Marseille & Toulon, MIO, Marseille, France

Summary :
Invasive species are non-indigenous species (NIS) that are naturalized (introduced) and harmful from an ecological, economical and/or human health point of view. Only a part of naturalized NIS prove harmful (the ‘tens rule’), though predicting their actual behaviour is generally impossible. In addition, naturalized NIS can be harmless for a while and subsequently become harmful (lag time), i.e. invasive. The introduction process involves a donor region, a vector, a corridor, a recipient region, a candidate species and a variety of filters that hinder the process. All of these filters must be simultaneously open to allow a candidate species to become naturalized. Once a species is naturalized, there are 3 phases in the process of colonization: (i) a lag time (optional), (ii) an expansion phase, when the species will try to occupy all of the habitats and the entire geographical range to which it may have access and (iii) a persistence phase, when it occupies all of the accessible habitats and the entire accessible geographical range and therefore stops its range extension.
The Mediterranean Sea constitutes a hotspot of species diversity. The Mediterranean and Black Seas also constitute the area hosting worldwide the largest number (~1 000) of NIS, naturalized or invasive taxa. This feature is mainly due to their pivotal place in the world maritime traffic and in the opening of the Suez Canal that allows an increasing flow of Red Sea species entering into the Mediterranean. Invasive species have already disrupted, or even turned upset down, the functioning of native ecosystems, in large areas of the two seas, e.g. le Levantine Basin (Red Sea immigrants) and northern brackish lagoons (Japanese species of cold affinities).
Updated censuses of NIS belonging to many taxa (e.g. teleosts, mollusks, red algae, chlorobionts and Phaeophyceae) are available. However, incomers are continuously arriving, data are lacking or relatively poor concerning some taxa (e.g. unicellular, trematodes) and some areas are poorly monitored (e.g. Libya, Algeria). Many invasive species prove to be key species (e.g. Mnemiopsis leidyi, Siganus spp., Fistularia commersonii, Asparagopsis spp.) or ecosystem engineers (e.g. Caulerpa taxifolia, C. cylindracea, Undaria pinnatifida). They therefore obviously lead to deep changes in the functioning of benthic and pelagic ecosystems (e.g. seagrass ecosystems, sub-littoral reef habitats) and even to the building of new ecosystems. However, these changes in the ecosystem functioning (e.g. functional compartments, energy and nutrient flows, export and import of organic matter) are often more suspected than actually described and quantified. Finally, economic consequences of biological invasions, which could be greater than ecological consequences, are rarely tackled by researchers of Mediterranean countries.
Hitherto, stakeholders, managers and policy makers seem to be powerless or non-active in attempting to fight the invasive species, or at least in slowing down the flow of incomers. Yet, half a dozen of international conventions (e.g. Bern Convention, Bonn Convention, Barcelona Convention) and European Union Directives (Habitat Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive) ask the member states preventing the introduction of alien species, and controlling or eradicating those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats and species. Unfortunately, these non-binding conventions are poorly enforced. Combating and preventing species introduction obviously constitutes a difficult task. Yet, solutions do exist. Listing and improving them should constitute a priority goal.


Title : Avant le deluge: bioinvasions in the Mediterranean Sea
by Bella Galil
National Institute of Oceanography, Haifa, Israel

Summary :
Recognition of the significant threats posed by invasive alien species (IAS) is evident in recent national and international legislations, regulations and conventions. Articles of the Convention on Biological Diversity enjoin signatories to ‘‘prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species’’. Similarly, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets include identification and prioritization of IAS and proposes that by 2020“measures are in place to manage pathways to prevent their introduction and establishment”.

The Mediterranean Sea has the largest number of recorded marine IAS, and the majority were introduced through the Suez Canal - the most potent corridor for invasions by marine species known in the world. On August 5th, 2014, Egypt made public the plans to enlarge the Suez Canal, doubling its capacity by creating a new canal parallel to the current channel. The enlargement of the Suez Canal will result in increasing the number of invasions from the Red Sea with a diverse range of deleterious effects not only on biological diversity, but also on the ecosystem structure and functioning of the whole Mediterranean Sea together with implications to services it provides for humans.
Assessment of ecological and economic-societal impacts caused by the introduction of IAS is essential to their management. However, only few IAS in the Mediterranean have been evaluated for impact: the evidence for most of the reported ecosystem impacts is weak, based as it is on ‘expert judgement’ or observational correlations. Furthermore, impacts of single marine IAS are very often impossible to ascertain, even less to quantify, in a multi- IAS system buffeted by other drivers of change.

It is recommend that the under resourced and understudied marine IAS impact research receive immediate attention and funding, to close the gap and bring the data to levels that allow more comprehensive impact assessments to meet legislative requirements.
It is suggested that due to major limitation in data of marine IAS impacts and the infeasibility of eradication, management of IAS in the Mediterranean Sea should be focused on precautionary practice which emphasizes preventing new incursions through pre-border controls (i.e. managing invasion vectors and pathways).

The ecological and socio-economical consequences of the enlargement of the Suez Canal enjoin the undertaking of comprehensive impact assessments involving the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea to ensure thorough risk analysis and implementation of control and mitigation measures.


Title : The role of marine protected areas in biodiversity conservation of the Azov-Black Sea basin
by N.A. Milchakova
A.O. Kovalevsky Inst. of Biology, Sevastopol, Russia

Summary :
Creating a developed network of marine protected areas (MPAs) with a total area of 10% of the oceans is one of the objectives declared by the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2020. Restoring the quality of environment is supported by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD 2008), Black Sea Strategic Action Plan (BS SAP 2009), and many conventions and agreements that linked the growing anthropogenic impacts (pollution, oil spills, overfishing, exotic species, tourism, recreation, transportation). Although the creation of MPAs is not the sole method of preserving biodiversity, resources, natural landscapes and habitats, however, marked recovery of the environmental quality of and ecological balance.
To date, there are 54 Black Sea MPAs (8013.27 km2, 1.9% of the marine area), including three Biosphere Reserves; there are guarded 37 benthic biocenosis by EUNIS classification. The greatest MPA number of different categories centered off the coast of Russia, almost no protected waters near Bulgaria and Georgia. For comparison, there are over 700 MPAs in the Mediterranean, occupying 4.56% its area, protected by over 200 EUNIS habitats ("Status of MPA in the Mediterranean Sea", 2012).
The Azov-Black Sea basin perform the functions of biological and landscape diversity as MPAs for a limited number of reasons; 46 sites do not have financial support, only 6 sites have development and management plans (Milchakova, 2011). Difficulties of correct MPAs operation are also associated with the methodology of their formation, mainly on their proximity to protected areas, and not on scientific, ecosystem or environmental significance. Most MPAs are in the coastal zone, their area is small, and virtually no environmental measures were implemented due to the lack of state protection status (category IUCN III-VI). Actually, two fully marine Botanical Reserves exists, "Zernov's Phyllophora Field" (created in 2008; 4025 km2) and "Small Phyllophora Field" (created in 2012; 385 km2). Implementation of environmental protection measures for these reserves is difficult because Phyllophora crispa is not a protected species in Ukraine (but protected by the Red Books of Russia and Black Sea), and because of the intensified threat of extraction of mineral and living resources in the north-western shelf. Deteriorating the quality of environment leads to development the atypical and invasive species, these include 16 species of macrophytes. Obviously, tropicalization and implementation of Ponto-Caspian endemics and relicts can cause not only a transformation of flora, but affect the formation and production of macrophytes, trophic structure of coastal ecosystems.
Another difficulty for functioning MPAs is that more than half are located in the coastal zone of Crimea (31 sites), which on one hand refers to one of the centers of biodiversity in Europe (according to IUCN), and on the other hand is a recreational and tourist center. In these circumstances, current and future direction of development of MPAs in the Azov-Black Sea basin is the organization of management and comprehensive monitoring, it is possible to find a balance between the conservation of biological and landscape diversity and economic activities with the development of the Black Sea states.


Title : CIESM Tropical Signals – Tracking changes in Mediterranean biodiversity
by Paula Moschella
CIESM, The Mediterranean Science Commission, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Summary :
The complex geological history of the Mediterranean Basin, the past climatic fluctuations marked by dramatic extinction events have contributed, on the course of millions of years, to the development of a unique, rich biodiversity embracing species of boreal, subtropical, tropical and circum-tropical origin, as well as nearly 30% of endemics. Mediterranean marine biota is still changing, but at much faster rate, on a scale of tens of years. Besides anthropogenic stressors impacting directly native habitats and species, and the continuous, relentless man-made introduction of exotic species, climate warming acts as an “overarching” factor, affecting the whole Mediterranean Basin. The raise in sea temperature recorded in the last decades in both deep and surface waters is concurrent with the increased establishment success of exotic thermophilic species and their spread towards higher latitudes. Similarly, warming of Mediterranean waters appears to affect native species with limited thermal tolerance, facilitating the range expansion of warm water species to the detriment of those of boreal origin already restricted in the northernmost, coldest areas of the Basin. Despite the mounting evidence of changes in the distribution ranges of many species, the process of “tropicalization” of the Mediterranean biota remains poorly understood, based on occasional, usually local studies and its causal link to the sea warming remains to be demonstrated in the absence of long term data series.

In this context, the CIESM Tropical Signals programme is conceived to track and assess the impacts of the Mediterranean warming on marine biota via: a) monitoring of long term species distributional changes (expansion of native and alien “warm-water” species, range contraction of native “cold-water” species; shifts in species depth distribution) and relate them to sea temperature trends; b) early detection of short-term, temperature driven events (mass mortalities and necrosis, species outbreaks, phenological changes). To this end, 22 research teams from 15 riparian countries with leading expertise on climate change, biogeography and alien species was established to create a dynamic network covering the whole Basin. Together we carefully selected a set of over 80 temperature sensitive species (from benthic invertebrates to fish) to be monitored as representative macrodescriptors of climate warming and developed a simple, cost-effective yet robust, monitoring methodology tailored to last on the long term and replicable at basin scale, to guarantee meaningful time series. Biological monitoring is combined with continuous in situ measurements of sea temperature within 5-35 m depth range, recorded by autonomous micro loggers, allowing to detect in shallow waters sudden temperature anomalies (e.g., thermocline shifts) or variability otherwise not detectable by satellite datasets. In parallel, the Programme has developed new survey methods involving fishermen, expert divers and MPAs managers to gather complementary information on selected macrodescriptors.
After a first phase of Programme consolidation, development and testing of methodology, Tropical Signals is fully operational, and already proves successful as a long-term “warning system” of biodiversity changes in response to Mediterranean warming.


Title : Alien species of European part of Russia: information system, database, vectors, main pathways and the risk assessment of their expansion
by V.G Petrosyan
A.N. Severtsov Inst., Moscow, Russia

Summary :
At present the problem of biological invasions of alien species is one of the acute questions of many countries of the world. The broadening and simplification of communications between different countries leads to active and passive transfer of alien species into new habitats, where they often get into conditions favorable for their spreading that result in displacement of local species and, finally, the change of entire ecosystems. The studies have showed that alien species colonize European part of Russia at the greater extent, the part where 78% of the country population lives and where the main thoroughfares and economic facilities are concentrated. Taking into account the scale of invasion process, it is obvious that it is impossible to solve all the questions connected with alien species control in the territory of European part of Russia at once. In this connection, a special importance is gained by determination of priority target species and risk assessment for influencing the invasion process. On the basis of available databases, WEB-oriented information system "Alien species of Russia" ( and literature sources ( for the European part of Russia has been determined 35 alien species, which can be priority targets for control. At present special studies are carrying out for every target species, all available information on their distribution, life-style peculiarities, the main invasion corridors and dispersion vectors, effects on aboriginal species and ecosystems, influence on the human health and population control methods is gathered and generalized. On the basis of these data it is possible to create the models of alien species invasion risks to the territory of European Russia.


Title : Recent introductions of species of warm affinities in the SE Iberian Peninsula (Western Mediterranean).
by A.A. Ramos-Esplá, Izquierdo A., Rubio, E., Giménez-Casalduero F.
CIMAR, Univ. Alicante, Spain

Summary :
The SE-Iberian sector (around 575km shoreline) represents one of the warmer western Mediterranean areas (range surface TºC: 13-28), and little known. The presence of warm affinities species (as vagrants, thermophilous or lessepsian) has been increased from the decade of the 70s. In this period (1973), some introduced species (Oculina patagonica, Bostrycapulus odites, Microcosmus squamiger) were observed in the port of Alicante, the probable vector outside the maritime traffic were noted. In the decades of the 80s and 90s, the chlorophytes Penicillus capitatus stadio Spera (1986; E. Ballesteros, pers. comm.) and Caulerpa racemosa (1999; obs auth.); and the fishes Sphaeroides pachygaster (1983) and Parapristimoma octolineatus (1988; Bayle, pers comm..). However, it has been in the last decade when it has detected a further increase of introduced species of both Atlantic-tropical origin as Indo-Pacific, including: the brachiuran Percnon gibbesi (2002; obs. auth.); the pufferfishes Sphoeroides marmoratus (Mendiola, 2005) and Lagocephalus sceleratus (2014, obs. auth.); the polychaetes Branchiomma luctuosum (2006, obs. auth.), B. boholense (2007,. Roman et al, 2009) along with the fireworm Hermodice carunculata (2011); and the lessepsian molluscs Bursatella leachi (2009, obs. auth.) and Fulvia fragilis (2009).


Title : Invasive processes in phytoplankton based on research in the northeastern Black Sea.
by V.A Silkin, Pautova L.A., Abakumov A.I.
Russian Academy of Science, Russia

Summary :
For the north-eastern part of the Black three main seasons was found: Spring, presented small cell diatoms (Pseudonitzschia pseudodelicatissima, Chaetoceros curvisetus); complex late spring, early summer coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi) and summer-autumn complex represented mainly by large cells diatoms (Proboscia alata, Pseudosolenia calcar-avis). In the spring complex species are selected with a maximum specific growth rate. The complex late spring, early summer benefit species must have the lowest growth limiting concentrations of nitrogen or phosphorus (principle of R-competition, Tilman, 1977). In summer and autumn the complex the species with maximal cell quota of limiting nutrients are selected. These complexes are selected during the long evolution of the sear and remain virtually unchanged. In order for them to change needs a significant shift in the ecosystem of the sea such as eutrophication, an increase in temperature. During the decade of observation was not detected a change of dominant species, recorded only a shift in time.
To predict fixing invasive species in the subdominant complex use of the above principle is not enough. This future subdominant species should be paired with the dominant species, wherein in the stationary state, these species must have different limiting nutrients. It is sufficient to observe certain minimum quotas ratio (Silkin, Khailov, 1988). During our studies appearance of invasive species as a subdominant in the complex late spring - early summer 2005-2006 was noted when the dominant species was coccolithophore Emiliania huxleyi. This species was small cell diatom Chaetoceros throndsenii. It was recorded in almost all the way from the coast to the center of the sea. In experimental studies the growth characteristics of this species have revealed and the ratio of minimum quotas was estimated. Computational experiments confirmed that this coccolithophore and invasive species can be a couple, while in invasin species is not likely to become dominant in the existing conditions.


Title : Enrichment of the Impoverished or Encroachment of the Native: Implications of the New Suez Canal Project
by Tarek A. Temraz
Suez Canal Univ., Ismailia, Egypt

Summary :
The new Suez Canal Project created continuous debate since being launched earlier this year. The implication of this project will extend beyond introducing new alien species into the Mediterranean but it will affect biodiversity and several ecosystem services. Studies of the invasive species focused mainly on species inventory and updating the newly introduced list but ignoring the driving factors behind the introduction process. Along the Egyptian coast of the Mediterranean a positive stocking rate in fisheries was recorded for the alien species Scomberomorus commerson and collectively Siganus spp together with space availability and non-competing behavior between the native and the introduced species within the same family such as Siganidae and Synodontidae. During the past five years a community based involvement in recording alien species expand the list of migrated organisms to include Fistularia commersonii, Nemipterus randalli, Pempheris vanicolensis, Lagocephalus sceleratus, Parupeneus forsskali, Scorpaena notata, and Parexocaetus mento. The factors governing the migration across the Suez Canal will be conferred and its implication on potential fish migrants. The expansion project of the Suez Canal will be elaborated and the potential impacts will be highlighted. Gaps in the current knowledge of potential fish migrants into the Levant will be addressed.
Key Words:
Invasive species, Suez Canal, Lessepsian migration, Mediterranean


Panel [D] - Contaminants & marine litter

co-moderators : Drs Francois Galgani and Peter Zavyalov

Title : POPs and related contaminants in the open Mediterranean and Black Seas
by Javier Castro-Jiménez, Naiara Berrojalbiz, Jordi Dachs
CSIC, Lyon, France

Summary :
The Mediterranean and Black Seas are under the influence of large number of organic pollutant sources due to their nature as semi-enclosed environments surrounded by highly populated areas (more than 400 million people), numerous industrial and agricultural sectors and as hosts of intense maritime traffic. A fraction of these chemicals, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), are of major concern due to their high toxicity and persistence, their bioacumulative properties (e.g. they can biomagnify in the food chain) and long-range transport potential. Recent investigations have proved the overall occurrence and loading of POPs and related contaminants in the open Mediterranean and the south western Black Seas. In this presentation an overview of the current levels, atmospheric transport, loadings and cycling of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) will be presented. In addition, recent measurements of alternative flame retardants and plasticizers (OPEs) will be discussed. These results come from a unique set of samples (~ 150 samples analyzed, all matrixes) collected during two east-west oceanographic surveys conducted in June-July 2006 and May-June 2007 that covered all Mediterranean sub-basins and the SW Black Sea. Atmospheric (gas and particle phases), seawater (dissolved and particulate phases) and plankton samples were gathered simultaneously.
The overall occurrence of toxic organic chemicals in surface waters far from the shoreline has been confirmed, with concentrations ranging from a few fg/L (PCDD/Fs) to ng/L levels (PAHs). Spatial and temporal trends have been identified for some contaminant families. For instance, higher PAH water dissolved phase concentrations were measured in the SW Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean than in the Western Mediterranean reflecting different pollutant loads, trophic conditions and cycling. Results of atmospheric gas phase PCBs (~ 300 pg/m3 mean concentration) point to a limited decline in PCB atmospheric concentrations for the last 15 years in the Mediterranean Sea region, suggesting primary and secondary sources are still present in the region. Atmospheric deposition has been shown to be the main loading pathway at open sea in both marine environments for all studied contaminants. For example, the PAH atmospheric deposition (dominated by low MW PAH net air-water diffusive fluxes) is estimated to be ~ 3100 ton/y in the Mediterranean Sea and 500 ton/y in the Black Sea. Dry deposition is also a relevant pathway for particle-bound contaminants such as the legacy PCDD/Fs and the emerging OPEs. The dynamic coupling of the air-water-phytoplankton POP concentrations allowed to explain the “modulation” of the water column levels for PCBs, OCPs and PAHs in the Mediterranean Sea far from land-base sources. Key gaps of knowledge and research needs were identified, such as the need of a comprehensive study on new transport vectors of POPs (e.g. microplastics) and the accurate assessment of POPs ship emissions as local sources at open waters.


Title : Numerical simulation of Black Sea circulation and pollution propagation in coastal waters of the Greater Sochi
by Nikolai Dianskiy, V. V. Fomina,c, N. V. Zhokhovaa, and A. N. Korshenko
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
The numerical modeling of the Black Sea (BS) is considered by using INMOM (Institute Numerical Mathematics Ocean Model). The model is based on the primitive equations in spherical ?-coordinate system with free surface boundary condition. The numerical algorithm is based on the method of multicomponent splitting and has a flexible modular structure. The splitting with respect to physical processes and spatial coordinate is used.
A computational method is proposed of the polluting substances (PS) transport in the BS region adjacent to the Great Sochi. It is based on INMOM application for the BS in two versions: M1 and M2. In the M1 INMOM has a uniform spatial resolution ~4 km, while M2 has non-uniform one with refinement to 50 m in the BS region near Great Sochi coast. The M2 is used only during the periods of PS transport computation for which the initial hydrothermodynamic conditions are taken from M1. Both versions reveal complexity of the BS circulation nature, however, M2 more adequately reproduces eddy circulation due to higher horizontal resolution in its eastern part.
Hence, a suggestion is made that BS eddy structure simulation requires model resolution ~1,5 km, and the major factor of quasistationary Batumi anti-cyclonic gyre formation is the topographical features in this part of the sea. A computation of PS distribution from the rivers Sochi, Host and Mzymta and from 18 pipes of deep-water sewage production was performed for the high-water period from 01.04.2007 to 30.04.2007. It is shown that the significant contribution to PS distribution from these punctual sources is made by whirlwind mesoscale formations generating complicated 3-dimensional PS distribution.


Title : Marine litter in the Mediterranean and Black seas
by François Galgani
IFREMER, Bastia, France

Summary :
Key words: Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Marine Litter, Microplastics

Anthropogenic litter on the ocean surface, beaches and seafloor has significantly increased over recent decades and both Mediterranean and Black Seas have been described as among the most affected areas in the world.
Plastic, mainly bags and fishing gear, forms the largest part of debris at sea. Cleaning and regular surveys are now providing information about temporal and spatial distribution that is mainly related to the presence of large cities, large rivers and shore uses. Hydrodynamics, maritime activities and geomorphology of the sea floor are ultimately the main drivers affecting the distribution of litter at sea.
On beaches, studies have demonstrated densities in the 1/m2 range. Polymers can be then physically degraded into smaller fragments, the so-called microplastics. All existing surveys on the surface, worldwide, have found average densities lower than in the NW Mediterranean sea (115000/km2). Microplastics are also found on beaches and sediments, including the deep sea, reaching concentrations of 1000 pellets/m2 of beaches on the island of Malta.
Recent studies on the deep sea floor of the Mediterranean concluded that coastal submarine canyons act as conduits for the transport of marine debris into the deep sea areas with an average density  evaluated from 295 samples at 179 plastic items/km2.
The balance between the increase of waste and plastic productions, reduction measures and the quantities found at the surface and on shorelines is still not answered. Recent research in the Mediterranean and Black seas demonstrated (i) the importance of hydrodynamics, (ii) the occurrence of physical, chemical or biological degradation of plastic, involving several steps such as the initial formation of bacterial biofilms and fragmentation, (iii) the impacts of plastic at sea that include entanglement, physical damage and ingestion, the release of chemicals, the transport of species and the alteration of benthic community structures, and (iv) social and economic harm that include the reduction of values of various areas as well as risks to human health, threat to navigation and costs to maritime sectors.
The Black sea and Barcelona conventions with their Regional Action Plans and the EC through the MSFD are key stakeholders for monitoring marine litter at Sea and for implementing reduction measures. For research, CIESM recently organized a workshop dedicated to marine litter and summarized priority research topics, inviting to (i) a better definition of standardized/harmonized protocols, (ii) develop research on nanoparticles at sea, (iii) a better understanding of circulation and transport of litter in the Mediterranean and black seas, (iv) improve our knowledge of the ecology of microbial life on plastic and consequences on degradation, species dispersion and release of chemicals, (v), understand the interactions between species and plastic and the impact of new habitats, (vi) develop a risk assessment approach , and finally, (vii) develop indicators of harm,
As necessary steps, a better understanding of marine litter issue will then need to (i) increase the coverage of survey sites and further development of data analysis in all regions, enabling to map hot spots and sources, (ii) develop a database on rafted species to better explain the risk of dispersion, the transport between the Mediterranean and Black seas, through the Suez canal and the strait of Gibraltar and the possible colonization of new deep sea areas, (iii) define thresholds for harm, and (iv) develop original methods to identify micro/nano particles/fibers.


Title : Dynamic of DOM and contaminants in the Mediterranean sea : Understanding through fluorescence sensor technology
by Madeleine Goutx, Catherine Guigue, Marc Tedetti
Univ. Aix-Marseille & Toulon, MIO, Marseille, France

Summary :
Fluorescence has been fruitfully used to investigate the composition and dynamics of DOM in aquatic environments. In situ fluorescence tools may resolve the spatio-temporal variability of biogeochemical variables for a better understanding of ecosystem functioning. With this aim, we developed a submersible fluorometers (the "MiniFluo-UV") based on light-emitting diodes (LEDs) excitation in collaboration with MicroModule (Brest) and Acsa-Alcen (Europarc, Meyreuil) companies. We present the performance of this sensor for monitoring DOM and contaminants in coastal marine areas, NW Mediterranean.
Acknowledgments: Projects FUI_SEA EXPLORER, DGCIS_ VASQUE, ANR-09-ECOT-009-01, NEXOS_CE PCRD 7 "The Ocean of Tomorrow 2013" and the Competitivity Cluster Mer PACA, the CNRS_INSU and AMU. 


Title : Main results of satellite monitoring of oil spills in the Black Sea
by Andrei Yu. Ivanov, Alexey Kucheiko
P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Since 2009 RDC SCANEX in collaboration with Institute of Oceanology RAS monitors the oil pollution in the Black Sea. Main source of remote sensing (RS) data – synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images acquired by SAR-equipped RS satellites, such as Envisat, Radarsat-1 and Radarsat-2 (then TerraSAR-X and Cosmo-SkyMeds after Envisat’ failure in 2012, and Radarsat-1’ in 2013). The oil slicks and oil spills are visible on them as dark patches of different shape and size. For comprehensive analysis the multi-satellite/sensor and GIS technologies, as well data of automatic ship identification systems (AIS) and modeling are used.
This paper presents results of routine satellite oil spill monitoring in the Eastern Black Sea (2011-2013). The focus of monitoring is on providing information that assists in adequate responses as well as further investigation into problem of recent oil pollution of this sea. For this the web-GIS technology/application developed by SCANEX and named Geomixer has been actively used. The Geomixer is based on geoinformation approach (Ivanov & Zatyagalova 2008), and allows integration and combination of all data & information needed for detail analysis, such as offshore and onshore oil-&-gas infrastructure, ship tracks, boundaries of territorial waters, economic zones and license blocks, bathymetry, locations of known bottom oil seeps, etc. As the result of integrating all detected spills, actual and unique oil spill distribution maps for the Eastern Black Sea have been generated and analyzed. Further by combining of annual oil spill distribution maps and comparing them, it is possible to get spatial-temporal characteristics of oil pollution. They clearly show that a main source of man-made oil pollution of these seas is navigation/shipping. The Black Sea, especially its open part, is an arena of intensive tank washing and illegal ship discharges. Even though the Black Sea is a Special Area under MARPOL Convention, there is a possibility to discharge oil, oily, other chemical and natural products under special conditions. It is revealed that the most important negligible source of oil pollution is the tank washing in the open sea (spill areas 20 ? 100 and more km2) and illegal discharges (1 ? 10 km2). However, among detected oil spills there are many patches that are not produced by crude oil and oil product at all. For instance, by radar satellite monitoring the unprecedented large ship-made oil spill of palm oil (~350 km2) was detected. Moreover, complex analysis of SAR, RS, AIS and other kind of data allows exact identification sources of oil pollution and even ship involved in a particular oil spill. Three regions of natural oil seeping mainly in the southern-east part of the sea were also proved by monitoring, and it is ill-estimated source of oil and discrimination problem. It is concluded therefore that the distribution of oil spills in the sea strongly depends on ship and tanker traffic. Based on actual data of satellite monitoring, the Black Sea can be considered as one of heavily polluted inland seas on a local and even international scale due to tank washing.
Keywords: Black Sea, satellite monitoring, SAR images, oil spills, oil spill distribution maps


Title : Mesoscale circulation and processes of pollution transport in the Adriatic Sea
by Konstantin A. Korotenko
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
This presentation devoted to simulations of the Adriatic Sea using the DieCAST model applied on a 1.2–min grid (about 2–km resolution). The simulations resolve the mesoscale variability because the grid size falls below the first baroclinic deformation radius (about 5–10 km) and DieCAST has very low horizontal dissipation. The model is initialized with seasonally averaged temperature and salinity data and forced with climatological winds and surface buoyancy fluxes (both heat flux and evaporation minus precipitation). River discharges are varied daily according to a perpetual year for every river, and the open-boundary conditions at Otranto Strait are obtained by nesting in two larger-scale models. The present simulations demonstrate that the DieCAST model allows mesoscale instabilities to develop at length scales of 5–20 km and over time scales of a few days.

The simulated variability exhibits pronounced similarities with the actual mesoscale variability, in terms of location, nature and temporal evolution of the features. Meanders, swirls and eddies are noted along the relatively smooth Italian coast while offshore jets and filaments better describe the mesoscale activity along the more rugged coast of Croatia. The present simulations also show that the seasonal hydrography of the Adriatic Sea is intrinsically unstable to mesoscale perturbations, and that the mesoscale variability along the Italian coast is the result of baroclinic instability of the Western Adriatic Current. It is shown how the properties of this instability are related to the local bottom topography.

Mesoscale instabilities play a great role in the transport and dispersal of pollution in the Adriatic Sea. From satellite images, the mesoscale structures and associated with the latter pollution accumulation zones in the Adriatic Sea appear to have the following properties, depending on the region. The Italian side has periodic meanders and eddies of identifiable wavelength, with a hint of development during calm periods; this is symptomatic of baroclinic instability in relatively pure forms that create similar forms of pollution zones. In contrast, the Croatian side has jets and filaments that tend to vary in speed and length of penetration but not in location; there are strong hints that topographic control plays a significant role in creating and guiding these jets. Such jets and filaments produce self-cleaning effects along the Croatian coast. The southern Adriatic basin is characterized by instabilities of its two buoyant coastal currents (along Italy and Albania) and the instability of the South Adriatic Gyre. Finally, the northern basin, which is often affected by all three types of forcings simultaneously, exhibits complex behavior echoing in the formation of pollution zone in this part of the Sea.


Title : Dispersion of African dust-borne hazardous chemicals in the Mediterranean Sea
by Euripides G. Stephanou
Univ. of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

Summary :
A multidisciplinary approach was applied to evaluate the implications of the dispersion of African dust-borne hazardous chemicals (e.g. persistent organic pollutants – POPs; toxic metals) into the Mediterranean basin. The key-issues of the research were: 1) To establish an integrated sampling network, using advanced sampling techniques, in selected sites in E. Mediterranean in order to seize the transported African dust in to the Mediterranean basin. 2) To use satellite data and backward trajectories models to trace the source areas and the routes of African dust towards the Mediterranean. 3) To measure the particle size distribution, of the atmosphere in the downwind areas during African dust events in order to evaluate their contribution to respirable particles concentration during the event. 4) To perform geochemical analysis in order to assure the origin of the dust burden arriving in the downwind areas and exclude the possibility of a wrong record of contaminants picked-up during transit of air mass. 5) To use advanced chemical analysis in order to record the pollutant content of African dust. 6) To use phylogenetic high density DNA microarrays in order to establish in selected samples the microbial record of African dust transported to the Mediterranean. 7) To integrate the outcomes of the above-mentioned tasks in order to evaluate how the dust transported from Africa into the Mediterranean impacts directly and/or indirectly the environment (and human health) in the downwind areas.
The results of the above measurements will be presented in the meeting


Title : Contaminants and marine litter at the Romanian Black Sea: A step beyond monitoring
by Tania Zaharia, Luminita Lazar, Andra Oros, Valentina Coatu, Daniela Tiganus, Madalina Galatchi, Eugen Anton, George Tiganov
NIRDEP, Constanta, Romania

Summary :
The contamination of coastal areas of the north-western part of the Black Sea can be directly correlated with urban or industrial sources, such as factories, harbors, water treatment plants etc. River influence on the coastal area is significant, being a major source of contaminants, mainly as particulates, with extreme hydrological events (floods) enhancing such an input. High concentrations of certain contaminants in the environment affect biota by their ability to bioaccumulate, transfer along the food chain all the way to human consumers. Another type of pollutant, marine litter, is widely recognized as a threat to worldwide marine ecosystems. It is a major societal challenge because it impacts the vast natural marine capital that supports economies, societies and individual well-being. Marine litter, of which plastic is a main component, is a new pollutant taken into consideration in the monitoring program developed at the Romanian Black Sea.

This paper aims at identifying the gaps of the Romanian monitoring program, in compliance with contaminants and pollution effects, contaminants in fish and other seafood, marine litter, as well as the need for applying new research methods for a better understanding of how contaminants (heavy metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, bacteria) and marine litter affect the Black Sea ecosystem.

NIMRD’s monitoring programme of the transitional, coastal and marine waters from the Romanian Black Sea area is based on the analysis of water, sediment and biota samples, collected from a network of 44 stations located between Sulina and Vama Veche (research vessel “Steaua de Mare 1”, 2-4 times/year). The network of stations includes the survey of all water typologies included in Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The contamination parameters analyzed are: total petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, organochlorine pesticides, polycylcic aromatic hydrocarbons (water, sediments and marine organisms - mollusks) and bacteria (bathing waters). The identified gaps refer to the pollution effects which are poorly addressed at national level and contaminants in fish and other seafood for human consumption. Also, the threshold values which define the maximum admissible levels are not set out for a number of contaminants either in relation to the sediments and biota.

Concerning the monitoring of marine litter, this was begun in 2011 only from the sea floor, water column and beaches. The identified gaps are the data on litter in biota and micro-litter. Future research will be directed towards completing those indicators that have not been analyzed until now, but also to the analysis of the impact of contaminants and marine litter on Black Sea ecosystems, using predictive models.


Title : River plumes and pollutants at the Russian Black Sea coast
by Peter Zavialov
P.P. Shirshov Inst. of Oceanology, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
This paper presents the results of long-term (2005-20014) in situ and satellite measurements at shelf areas adjacent to the estuaries of the small rivers of the Russian coast of the Black Sea (Mezyb, Pshada, Vulan, Tuapse, Bitkha, Sochi, Kudepsta, Mzymta). The quantitative characteristics of the response of the hydrophysical and hydrochemical fields at the sea shelf on the influence of the continental river discharge are presented for each of these areas. A number of indicators of the water quality (such as the concentrations of the nitrate and nitrite forms of nitrogen, the phosphorus, the silica, the dissolved oxygen, the value of the total alkalinity and pH, the mineral and organic suspended matter, and the chlorophyll a) as well as some pollutants (such as metals, sterols, and some POPs) are considered in the context of the anthropogenic and terrigenous influence. The emphasis was placed on the Mzymta River plume at the shelf area adjacent to the city of Sochi, where the measurements were repeatedly performed during the spring flooding conditions in the period from 2007 until 2012. The interannual variability of the water quality indicators and the seasonal and short-term variability of the area and the configuration of the river plume, which transports suspended matter and anthropogenic pollution, were considered. The dynamics of the river plume under a variety of forcing conditions is simulated using a Lagrangian numerical model.


Panel [E] - Marine biotechnology & society

co-moderators : Drs Laura Giuliano and Antonina Podkorytova

Title : Mariculture in southern Russia: objects, technologies and prospects
by Irina Burlachenko, Yakhontova I.
Russian Federal Research Inst., Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Mariculture in the southern seas of Russia, though is a part of the Mediterranean aquaculture, has a number of features. They are caused by a wide range of temperatures and low water salinity. The fauna of the seas represented marine, brackish and partly freshwater species of fish and invertebrates. Meanwhile the range of aquaculture species is relatively narrow.
Traditional objects of lagoon aquaculture in Azov and Black Sea region are striped mullet Mugil cephalus and golden mullet Liza saliens. In the 1970s the list was supplemented of Far Eastern haarder Mugil soiuy. Huge interest for aquaculture represents the Black Sea turbot Psetta maxima maeotica. Technology for production of juvenile mullet and turbot were developed in Russia in 80-90e years. Commercial cultivation of turbot was also successfully developed. At the turn of the century technologies of cultivation of Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and European (flat) oysters (Ostrea edulis) were also successfully tested. After the collapse of the Soviet Union the research in this direction were almost stopped. However, today we stand on the threshold of a new rise of the Black Sea aquaculture: regulatory framework is almost formed, research resumed. Promising species for cage aquaculture in the region are native fish species e.g. sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), light croaker (Umbrina cirrosa) and bluefish (Pomatomus saltator). We are confident in the success of the Azov-Black Sea aquaculture, as we will be able to use the achievements of Mediterranean aquaculture and avoid its mistakes.


Title : Streamlining the marine enzyme discovery process towards applications: current and future research windows
by Manuel Ferrer
CSIC, Madrid, Spain

Summary :
Mining the new activities for basic and biotechnological applications from microbial biodiversity through metagenomics has been brought to a new recognized technological level. With metagenomics, the DNA of microbial communities is directly harvested from the environment, sequenced and bioinformatic analysis and expression is then performed in surrogate microbial hosts enabling screening for enzymes of interest whose activities can be further evaluated. This has already been shown to facilitate the discovery of new microbes and enzymes with novel activities of industrial relevance. Here, recent successful examples are provided that suggest not only that newly discovered enzymes from the Mediterranean Sea (including Deep Sea), Red Sea and south-eastern Barents Sea have properties far distant of those previously reported, but also that they can serve as indicators of global warming and future biotech developments. The geochemical and geographical constraints characterizing marine habitats, and these three sites in particular, seem to directly correlate with the evolution of mechanisms underlying enzyme´s versatility (promiscuity and stability), a feature that is greatly appreciated at industrial scale. These novel features of marine enzymes contrast with the fact marine sites have been by far less investigated than terrestrial ones in terms of enzyme content. As example, only about 4% of the total number of enzymes discovered to date after examination of circa 2,000 different natural sites distributed all over the Planet, were from marine origin. Therefore, the biotechnological potential of marine enzymes is under-exploited.
A timeline of several years (up to 7 years) from enzyme identification to biotech process establishment, is the reality rather than the exception. Therefore, to be “the first in class” with new molecules to be produced by marine enzymes that are brought into the market, is crucial to start understanding the enzyme content of marine habitats on a large scale. If the hit rate for identifying versatile marine enzymes with high turn-over rates under real application conditions could be increased, while covering a high marine natural diversity, very limited to date, it can be expected that also the very further expensive and time-consuming enzyme optimization and process implementation phases could be significantly shortened. Particularly, marine habitats with unique characteristics such as Mediterranean (including deep sea hypersaline basins) and Black Seas, might be prioritized. This suggestion is based on estimations about the performance of enzymes in these environments and the fact that these sites has been neglected to enzyme research, and provided estimations for that.
Metagenomics, as well as other “-omics” approaches, in combination with biocatalysis-based methods, should be positioned at determinant technologies for marine biotechnology. Here, current challenges, bottlenecks and future research windows related to streamlining the marine enzyme discovery process towards the application, through these technologies, are provided. In addition to that, this presentation uncovers novel perspectives of relevance for marine biology and marine biotechnology. Particularly, I discuss the utilization of metabolomics, or the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific microbial processes leave behind", for identifying marine hotspots with distinct metabolic (including enzyme) activities.


Title : The potential of regional seas for Marine Biotechnology
by Laura Giuliano
CIESM, The Mediterranean Science Commission, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Summary :
Feeding on the use of new products and processes from the sea with (by definition) low environmental impact, Marine Biotechnology has a great potential for boosting emerging industries. It therefore represents an excellent opportunity to set up new solutions for policy, market and industrial sectors. Based on bio-prospecting exercises, namely the prospecting for marine genetic resources (MGRs), marine biotechnology provides the basis for assessment of the marine resources and the related definition of marine landscapes’ value. It also calls for legal instruments and frameworks accommodating multi-lateral agreements (MLAs) at ecologically meaningful scale.

The regional seas offer the most appropriate and effective scale to test their effects.

They often host high species richness, exceptional concentrations of endemic species and a diversity of easy-to-reach extreme environments that harbour unique forms of life (particularly microbes) and remarkable ecological processes. This is particularly true of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Contextual marine resources assessment exercises can help to implement specified regional-based initiatives from marine environmental policies.

Bordering different countries (and often different continents), regional seas usually interact with highly diversified economic and socio-cultural systems, so that requiring new models of collaboration and marine co-governance with a view to better secure the various user communities’ needs. In return, they benefit of expanding markets, available raw material, and labour and cost differential.

Due to the generally complex geopolitical features of regional seas, Marine Biotechnology regional pilot exercises would take great advantage of special grants for financing skilled workforce from abroad and financial mechanisms for risk sharing (i.e. guarantees, insurances). Participatory cluster organisations (i.e. cross sector platforms & pilot plants) may represent the way forward to promote technology transfer and entrepreneurial culture, and to facilitate funding.


Title : Marine biotechnology in North Africa: potential and challenges
by Amel Hamza-Chaffai
Sfax Univ. - Marine Ecotoxicology, Sfax, Tunisia

Summary :
Life started in the oceans since three billion years, and has developed an incredible diversity of living organisms. The most promising organisms are those living in extreme environments or which have no mechanical protection. Organisms attached to the seabed defend themselves by producing repulsive or toxic substances to prevent their opponents to colonize their living space or to discourage their predators. These defensive substances are of great interest because they could have some properties such as biocidal, cytotoxic, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic characters that have potential applications related to drug discovery, wellness industry, environmental remediation, increasing seafood supply and safety.
Molecules produced by marine invertebrates, algae and bacteria, are very different from those related terrestrial organisms and thus offer great potential as new classes of molecules. Bioactive molecules from sea organisms have potential applications in pharmaceutical, wellness industry, environmental remediation, increasing seafood supply and safety.
Examples of marine-derived drugs include an antibiotic from fungi; compounds from sponges are able to treat cancer and the herpes virus, and a neurotoxin from a snail that has painkiller properties. Other uses for marine-derived compounds include: cosmetics (algae, crustacean and sea fan compounds), nutritional supplements (algae and fish compounds), artificial bone (corals), and industrial applications (fluorescent compounds from jellyfish, novel glues from mussels, and heat resistant enzymes from deep-sea bacteria).
The Mediterranean Sea represents 0.8% of the oceans total area. However, it represents globally 7.3% of ocean species richness (11% for algae, 4% for Invertebrates, and 6% for Vertebrates). Moreover, the Mediterranean Sea has the highest species density (about 5.8 species per 1000 km2 compared to the ocean species density: 0.8 species per 1000 km2. Even if Marine biotech patenting remains very low in the Mediterranean area, we can mention some success stories about Mediterranean endemic species such as the marine sponges Tethya aurantium showing the singular ability to synthesize their siliceous skeleton enzymatically (silicateins) with possible applications in electronics and medicine. Another example is about Mussel Sticky Gel from Mythilus galloprovinciallis useful in biomedical setting as surgical adhesive or as a bouding agent for implants. Posidonia oceanic were investigated showing antidiabetic, antioxidant, vasoprotective uses.
In the southern part of Mediterranean Sea, North African countries represent 8201 km of coastlines, about 18% of the Mediterranean total coastlines. Species density and diversity is very high which offer huge possibilities to develop marine biotechnology sector. As a first comparison criterion, we can take as a reference, a ratio (coastline/area) index (C/A index). We can establish the following order: Tunisia (7 ‰), Libya (2.58 ‰), Egypt (2.4 ‰), Libya (1 ‰), and Algeria (0.4 ‰).
For Tunisia, in addition to the advantage of a high ratio, the Tunisian experience in the field or marine biotech shows many signs of growth and interest. In fact, since 1998, research was organized; research centers, business incubators and Techno parks were created all over the country. The field of marine biotechnologies was highly impacted by the above mentioned strategy in research and innovation. Many research groups and startups are dealing with different marine organisms such as fish, crustacean, mollusks, jellyfish, macro algae, microalgae, etc… In the case of Morocco, many projects dealing with marine biotechnologies (microalgae and microalgae) were developed. However, for others countries such as Egypt Algeria and Libya, marine biotechnology sector remain limited and presents several gaps. In the present work, potential and challenges in North African countries will be presented and discussed.


Title : Aqua - mariculture of invertebrates in the coastal zone of the Black Sea
by Nikolina P. Kovatcheva, Zagorsky I.A.
Russian Federal Research Inst., Moscow, Russia

Summary :
In recent years, the cultivation of invertebrates is an important direction for aqua- and mariculture in East and Central Europe, and particularly Russia. A strong tendency of aquaculture revival has arisen according to high demand of delicacy seafood on one hand and sharp decline of populations of commercially important hydrobionts on the other hand.
At the present day the most valuable cultivated objects are crustaceans, (shrimps, crabs and crayfish) and shellfish (mussels and oysters).
Crustacean cultivation is one of the most promising areas for aquaculture development in Russia. Statistics from recent years show that this sector of industry has slightly developed. Success of the realization of the crustacean aquaculture’s potential depends on the availability of scientific support and participation of small and medium businesses in this area. On the one hand, there is a growing demand for crustacean meat (red king crab, prawn, crayfish), on the other hand, there are opportunities allowing developing the cultivation and reproduction of these animals, filling the market with product and creating new jobs.
Developing perspective stands in the area of reproduction and cultivation of marine and freshwater crustaceans and other marine invertebrates in the natural and artificial conditions is the main principal activity of scientists of VNIRO, Moscow.
Main objects of the study are giant freshwater prawn – Macrobrachium rosenbergii, narrow-clawed crayfish Pontastacus leptodactylus and noble crayfish Astacus astacus, cold water crabs (red king crab) – Paralithodes camtschaticus.
The development of the scientifically-proved methods of artificial reproduction and cultivation of these species can significantly increase natural stocks and productivity of farms of delicacy marine and freshwater products in Russia.
Moreover VNIRO developed technology for cultivation of Mediterranean mussels and Pacific oysters. According to expert estimates up to 15 000 tons of shellfish per year can be produced on the Russian Black Sea coast.
Development of aqua - mariculture of invertebrates in the coastal zone of the Black Sea is an important factor for maintaining the number of valuable commercial species and the conservation of biodiversity in the Black Sea area.
This requires the support of regional and federal authorities and creation of an effective mechanism for sustainable development.
The scientists of VNIRO are ready to provide technical assistance and scientific support for projects.


Title : Genetic monitoring of artificial reproduction of sturgeon
by Nikolai Mugue
Russian Federal Research Inst., Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Recent catastrophic depletion of wild sturgeon stocks of the ?lack and Azov Seas demands urgent increase of efficacy of the State-running sturgeon restocking farms. Until recently, fingerlings production was based on artificial fertilization by eggs and sperm from wild sturgeons caught during spawning migration. Scarcity of wild adults led to rapid increase in use of aquaculture fish, and this put restocking program in jeopardy by possible severe inbreeding and genetic degradation. We have developed and implemented on over 3500 fish an individual sturgeon genetic profile based on mtDNA haplotype and allelic composition for five highly polymorphic in all sturgeon species microsatellite loci. Based on these genetic profiles, proper breeding plan can be proposed and also the progeny of genotyped parents can be traced after release in the wild. Implementation of genetic monitoring will enhance current efforts for sturgeon population rehabilitation in the Azov-Black fisheries basins.


Title : Biologically active polysaccharides of the brown algae
by Anatoliy I. Usov, A.V.Podkorytova
N.D.Zelinsky Inst. of Organic Chem. RAS, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Brown algae are a class (Phaeophyceae) of big marine photosynthesizing plants (macrophytes), which have diverse practical application mainly due to their unique polysaccharides. Brown algae contain storage (1?3,1?6)-?-D-glucans (laminarans) and two types of structural polysaccharides, alginic acids and fucoidans. Alginic acids and their salts (alginates) are produced industrially in large scale and used as structuring agents in food technology, biotechnology and medicine. Two other classes of polysaccharides are known as biologically active biopolymers. Laminarans and some of their chemical or enzymatic modification products often have immunomodulating properties. Fucoidans, which are usually very complex sulfated heteropolysaccharides, are studied now especially thoroughly. Continuously increasing interest to these polysaccharides is explained by their high and diverse biological activity, the most promising for practical use being anticoagulant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antitumor properties of fucoidans. Evidence on the chemical structure of alginic acids and fucoidans and contemporary status of the structural analysis of these polysaccharides may be found in the reviews [1,2]. Elucidation of the chemical structure of polysaccharides after their isolation as individual compounds is based on combination of chemical and physico-chemical methods of structural analysis, the most powerful physico-chemical method being the nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. For preliminary investigation of polysaccharide composition of brown algae a spectrophotometric procedure for determination of alginate and fucoidan content was developed [3]. Application of this procedure to many brown algal species made it possible to collect evidence on their polysaccharide composition prior to isolation of polysaccharides. From the species found in the Black Sea, according to their productivity and extent to which they have spread along the coasts of the Crimea and the Caucasus, the most interesting are the representatives of the genus Cystoseira. Complex treatment of these species may be used for practical preparation of all the three classes of polysaccharides mentioned above [4].
1. A.I.Usov. Alginic acids and alginates: methods for analysis, determination of the composition and structure. // Russ. Chem. Rev., 68(11), 957-966 (1999).
2. A.I.Usov, M.I.Bilan. Fucoidans – sulfated polysaccharides of the brown algae. // Russ. Chem. Rev. 78(8), 785-799.
3. A.I.Usov, G.P.Smirnova (2003), A new procedure for determination of alginate and fucoidan in brown seaweeds. // Proceedings of the XVIIth International Seaweed Symposium. / A.R.O.Chapman, R.J.Anderson, V.J.Vreeland and I.R.Davison, eds., Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 209?212.
4. Podkorytova A.V., Vafina L.H. Chemical composition of Brown algae from the Black Sea: genus Cystoseira, perspectives for their use// M.:VNIRO Publishing. V.150. 2013. P.100-107.


Title : Chitin and Chitosan in modern Biotechnology
by Valery Varlamov
Russian Academy of Sciencies, Moscow, Russia

Summary :
Studies of the specific role of carbohydrate-containing biopolymers are now one of the "hot spots" of modern biotechnology and related disciplines, combined under the name of «Life sciences" or "Living systems". Especially it has been noted a natural polysaccharide Chitin and its derivative - Chitosan. Over the past 10-15 years, studies of Chitin and Chitosan became a separate branch of science called "Chitinology." An important properties of these biopolymers is practically unlimited potential for targeted chemical and enzymatic modification, which allows to obtain substances of a variety molecular weight from 1 000 000 Da up to D-Glucosamine (by chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis), and with a variety of groups and substituents. Finally, through certain physical and chemical impacts it is possible to obtain stable nanoparticles (10-100 nm) with a zeta potential between +30 and -30 mV. It should be emphasized an ability of Chitosan to form complexes and composites with other polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, melanins. These allows to obtain different polyelectrolyte complexes and composites for targeting drug delivery, for transfer of genetic information, for removing of allergens from milk whey, for receiving dietary supplements with medicinal plants extracts. Of particular note is the opportunity of creation of effective biologic wound coverings and medical implants. From the crustaceans living in the Black Sea, the most important species such as lobster, crab, shrimp, crayfish. Chitin-containing waste from cuts must be used for the production of biologically active Chitosan and its use as dietary supplements, in the pharmaceutical industry and other directions.

K.Skryabin, S.Mikhailov, V.Varlamov (Eds.) Book “ CHITOSAN”// Centre”Bioengineering” RAS, 2013,593p. ISBN 978-5-4253-0596-1


Title : Calm and frenzy, feast and famine of marine PAH-degrader Cycloclasticus zankles 7ME as revealed by physiological studies and omic analyses
by Michail M. Yakimov, Simone Cappello, Renata Denaro and Maria Genovese
IAMC-CNR, Messina, Italy

Summary :
In many petroleum contaminated marine ecosystems all over the world including shallow and deep-sea water and sediments, marine bacteria of genus Cycloclasticus are recognized as the predominant players in aerobic breakdown of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAH). The genus name refers to ‘‘ring-breaking’’ activity, i.e. to the capability to degrade the PAHs consisting of up to four-five condensed rings. Based on comprehensive study included physiology, modern molecular biology and bioinformatics approaches, we demonstrated the life style of Cycloclasticus, highlighting the environmental factors governing its prosperity. The work was performed with Cycloclasticus zankles 7ME recently isolated from tar residues collected in Mediterranean Sea at tanker Haven’s wreck. This accident, happened 22 years ago and released > 40,000,000 gallons of crude oil, is considered as one of top-ten oil spills in the human history.

One of remarkable features of Cycloclasticus is its narrow substrate range delimiting by an uptake of almost exclusively PAHs, alkyl-PAHs, nitrogen- and sulphur-containing PAHs. The genome of Cycloclasticus zankles 7ME contains three large operons with more than fifteen different enzymes belonging to four different classes of ring-cleavage dioxygenases. Subtractive proteome analysis revealed that transcriptional activation of various operons depends on the amount of condensed rings in PAHs. This finding explained how these bacteria regulate the pathways when high-molecular weight PAHs compounds are present together. Cycloclasticus zankles 7ME does not produced siderophores and is highly specialized to uptake the iron from the environment applying the “cheating” strategy, which might explain the difficulties in its cultivation in a pure culture.


Panel [F] - Data harmonization

co-moderators : Drs Frank Oliver Gloeckner and Nikolai Mikhailov

Title : Data Harmonisation across Disciplines – the Ocean Sampling Day as an Example
by Frank Oliver Glöckner
Max Planck Inst. & Jacobs Univ., Bremen, Germany

Summary :
Investigations in molecular biology have transitioned from single experiments to high-throughput endeavours spearheaded by genomic science. Although the genomic revolution is rooted in medicine and biotechnology, environmental studies, most notably those of marine ecosystems, currently deliver highest quantities of data. New sequencing technologies are providing an increasingly powerful resource to investigate microbial diversity and function at the “Omics” level. But the full potential of modern “Omics” investigations in the marine realm only unfolds by contextualising sequence data with environmental/oceanographic and biodiversity data. The challenge of this approach is to harmonize and integrate heterogeneous data sources across disciplines. Common understandings as well as proper standards are a prerequisite for seamless data exchange.
The EU 7FP “Ocean of Tomorrow Project” Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology (Micro B3, unites intensive oceanographic monitoring, thorough biodiversity studies and high-throughput DNA sequencing of marine genomes, metagenomes and pan-genomes. The project addresses interdisciplinary needs in marine ecosystems biology and biotechnology by considering established best practice within the disciplines and deriving practical least-change means to align practices. As a proof of concept the Ocean Sampling Day initiative (OSD, was established as part of Micro B3. OSD is a simultaneous sampling campaign of the world’s oceans which took place (for the first time) on the summer solstice (June 21st) in the year 2014. As part of ramping up the first official OSD in 2014 several pilot-OSD studies were conducted to help establish the co-ordination (creation of the OSD sites network), logistics (sampling, shipping and processing), bioinformatics (metadata capture, standards, storage, analysis and data exchange) and policies (data policy for OSD, ABS/MTA/DTA). This standardized procedure ensures a high level of consistency between data points across all samples and researchers.
OSD led to the development of two standards to harmonize data: The M2B3 (Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics and Biotechnology) Reporting Standard (1) describes minimal mandatory and recommended contextual information for a marine microbial sample obtained in the epipelagic zone, (2) includes meaningful information for researchers in the oceanographic, biodiversity and molecular disciplines, and (3) can easily be adopted by any marine laboratory with minimum sampling resources. The M2B3 Service Standard defines a software interface through which these data can be discovered and explored in data repositories.
185 marine sampling sites have finally participated in OSD 2014. In total more than 1000 filters with biomass of marine samples from all continents have been taken and shipped to Bremen for DNA extraction, sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Repetition of OSD is currently planned for June 2015. These cumulative samples, related in time, space and environmental parameters, will now provide insights into fundamental rules describing microbial diversity and function and contribute to the blue economy through the identification of novel, ocean-derived biotechnologies.

More information about OSD:
OSD Movie Teaser (1:30 minutes)
OSD Movie (9 minutes) with subtitles in several languages


Title : Universal database and services based on the integration of information for oceans
by Alexander Kobelev
All-Russia Research Inst. of Hydrometeorological Info., Obninsk, Russia

Summary :
To ensure the integrated provision of hydrometeorological information and information on marine activities to users integration of distributed and heterogeneous data is needed. Integration is implemented with the help of the unified data description model based on 19115/19139 ISO standards, unified vocabulary of parameters, common codes and classifiers. For data held in various sources various types of physical storage are typical: factographic, object (images and documents), spatial, service. There are various types of data logical presentation: points, profiles, grids. The same attributes of data may be presented in various units of measurement and numerical systems. In addition, data management is required when data are downloaded, processed and used. For all of these processes data harmonization is necessary. Data harmonization is implemented with the help of the universal data base (UDB) developed as a result of data integration to allow data to be presented in a unified form to be further used for generation of information products.
The UDB provides a unified access to data and metadata. A set of parameters of the environment may change with time. These changes should traced automatically and the UDB should be adapted in due time to ensure adequate data downloading. The UDB should have a data model, which makes it possible to deal with any data being integrated due to the flat data structure used for all types of data. The UDB should include a set of functions for preliminary data processing (library of processing functions) such as conversion to unified units of measurement, filtration (e.g. by specific parameters), calculation of derived characteristics, integration of data from various sources, data accumulation in time, data indexation, etc. These functions are included into the data processing algorithm and are reflected in the data life cycle. Implementation of the algorithm, fixed in the data life cycle, results in one or several derived tables of the data base. The UDB also manages the process of services updating.
The UDB concept has been implemented within the framework of the Unified System of Information on the Global Ocean (ESIMO).


Title : An abstract scheme for the provision of harmonized data products
by Giuseppe M.R. Manzella
ETT SpA, La Spezia, Italy

Summary :
Data or data sets from different sources can satisfy needs for a variety of users. However, different applications require different constitutions of the data and it is not possible to state the fitness for use in a common way. Therefore it is necessary to state the ‘adequacy’ of data in an objective way and since the quality of different datasets must be comparable the quality description has to be in a standardized form. The principles on which Data Infrastructures are based (e.g. Collect data once and use it many times; Process and validate data at different levels; Develop a decision-making process for priorities that is user-driven) are posing some fundamental issues on the way they can serve different users for multiple uses, e.g.:
- Data can be used many times if they are fitting for purposes
- Different applications could need different precision or accuracy,
- In some specific application data can fit for purposes even if precision/accuracy is not high
- A synergic use of data from different monitoring and collection programmes needs to have information on all the sources of errors
- Analysis of data must consider also the errors associated to them

ISO standards introduce the necessary elements in the abstract process aiming to assess ‘how’ and ‘how much’ data meets applicable regulatory requirements and aims to enhance user satisfaction. Before combining or integrating data from different registries, one should consider similarities and differences in data collection methods, data quality, spatial and temporal resolution, etc. It is crucial that the data are comparable and compatible to avoid mistakes in analyses and interpretation. There are some questions that need to be addressed to determine whether and when data from different sources should be combined or compared:
- What about differences in data quality: How can these be measured and evaluated?
- What factors can affect data compatibility?
- How can one assess data comparability?
- When data are combined, what issues should be considered to determine whether the combined result is meaningful?

When data sets are compatible they could require some conversion. For this reason it is necessary to introduce the concept of ‘data harmonisation’. The general advice on this issue is to seek ways to harmonise existing data sets that are apparently incompatible, as this is likely to be more cost-efficient than starting afresh and collecting new data. The process will require some transformation or manipulation of the data to meet a common standard.

Data harmonisation is then an element of a management scheme based on ISO standards that starts from data quality specifications to data product specifications, in order to support the provision of access to interoperable spatial data through spatial data services in a representation that allows for combining it with other interoperable spatial data in a coherent way. The complete abstract scheme includes an evaluation of data by assuring relevance, reliability and fitness-for-purposes, adequacy, comparability and compatibility. Harmonisation is the further step for transforming data into interoperable data.


Title : Harmonization of marine observation data and products as a "single window" of end users
by Denis Melnikov, N. Chunjaev, A.Vorontsov*
All-Russia Research Inst. of Hydrometeorological Info., Obninsk, Russia

Summary :
Results of distributed and inhomogeneous data integration represent a variety of data structures that are to be visualized by a minimum number of applications without additional programming. Therefore, visualization tools are to be set for metadata attributes available in data description. This allows data presentation templates to be automatically chosen according to such metadata attributes as a data storage system, observation/generalization frequency, space and time resolution, and platform type. Six templates are selected: time series, regular grid, profile, application, geo-service, and object file. A procedure of template selection is shown below.
If the resources have the following characteristics: Time presentation is regular (every three hours or every day, etc.); Space resolution is a fixed point or region; Platform is rigid; and Vertical presentation is a surface, in this case we have a classic time series that allows constructing data presentation as a map, graph and table.
Again, data visualization templates make it possible to obtain fundamentally new information products. These products are derived by automatic combination on the same graph of observed and forecast marine environment parameters for coastal stations, which are obtained from different sources. Combination of similar-in-content data for integrated data presentation is an important function of data integration (e.g., combination of original data obtained via GTS channels with observation platform data). Transmitting of data (for example, information on marine hazards) to any web device also requires interoperability standards to be used.
The data harmonization solutions proposed are used in developing the data visualization application on the portal of the Unified State System of Information on the Global Ocean (


Title : Harmonisation of ocean data - approaches and implementation in Russia
by Nikolai Mikhailov
All-Russia Research Inst. of Hydrometeorological Info., Obninsk, Russia

Summary :
Marine data standardization and availability are of great importance for ocean research and marine operations. Data are demanded by numerous scientific and design organizations, authorities and different maritime activity stakeholders. Data have different levels of processing (observations, forecasts, climatic summaries, analyses) and contain a large number of marine parameters (at least 800). Most often data are distributed geographically. It is required to exchange and provide an access to large amounts of data from distributed sources and of different type (databases, data files, GIS layers, geo-services and others). Methods and formats of data presentation are also different.
Data harmonization is a powerful mechanism to increase data accessibility taking into account data specificity and related problems. Moreover, the concept of "data harmonization" is rather complex and its precise (conventional) definition does not exist. But most often, data harmonization means a possibility to combine data from heterogeneous sources into integrated and consistent information products, in a way that is of no concern to end-user. When data are not harmonized, users have to spend a lot of time and other resources for data search and conversion.
Usually, physical, logical and organizational aspects of data harmonization are discussed, depending on the methods applied.. In Russia targeted data harmonization was implemented in the Unified System of Information on the Global Ocean (ESIMO). The system provides the information - communication infrastructure for integration of distributed and heterogeneous data provided by multi-discipline marine systems, and access to the integrated data on the basis of the “single window” principal.
Data harmonization solution is based on a number of components, such as unified dictionary of parameters, metadata, data model, exchange standards for data and services. These components are implemented in a Web-based environment.


Title : Problems and solutions for the interoperability of heterogeneous and distributed data related to the marine environment and marine activities
by Evgeny Vjazilov, S. Belov
All-Russia Research Inst. of Hydrometeorological Info., Obninsk, Russia

Summary :
To harmonize heterogeneous and distributed data at the level of integrated data processing it is necessary to develop the unified vocabulary of parameters, to bring classifiers to the unified encoding system, to develop a wide range of metadata and to ensure software interoperability for data integration.
The unified vocabulary of parameters will allow all attributes used in data to be brought to the unified naming system.
To bring the encoding system to the unified classifiers the mapping of local codes to international and national codes is needed. This will make it possible to use any encoding notation without any impact on information interaction between systems and applications.
To integrate data the concept of information resource is using. Information resource is structured (data bases and files) or unstructured (document, set of documents) data developed and prepared for distribution among unlimited range of persons or used as a basis for provision of information services. Attributes of information resource are homogeneity of data structure, location in the same source (on the same carrier), and the same temporal-spatial resolution.
Inclusion into resource description of formalized data on the level of processing, form of presentation, data storage system, type of measurement platform, spatial-temporal scales will make it possible in the future to build various templates of data visualization. Data sources are presented in more detail through individual description of instruments, expeditions, projects, maritime organizations, observation platforms.
To harmonize data through integration ISO 19115 metadata interoperability standards, ISO standards of 19100 series, Open Geospatial Consortium standards, NetCDF international format and intersystem data exchange XML-technologies are used to the maximum extent possible.
Data harmonization based on the above approaches has been used for development of the Unified State System of Information on the Global Ocean (ESIMO),


Title : A pan-European infrastructure for managing ocean and marine metadata and data
by George Zodiatis
SeaDataNet consortium, Univ. of Cyprus, Cyprus

Summary :
SeaDataNet (SDN) is the leading network in Europe actively developing and operating a pan-European infrastructure for harmonizing the management, the use of common vocabularies, QC procedures and standards for indexing and online access to marine metadata and ocean data and products, originating from data acquisition activities by all engaged coastal states institutions, of which 21 from the Mediterranean and 3 from Russia.
SDN continues and expands previous initiatives of the consortium since 2002, in particular Sea-Search, Black Sea Scene, Upgrade Black Sea Scene and several distributed data management structures developed during others EU projects. SDN is developing common regional products focusing on five regions: Mediterranean, Black Sea, Baltic Sea, Barents Sea and North Atlantic.
The SDN consolidates and populates an array of directories of marine data & information resources such as :
- EDMED: Marine Environment Data sets dispersed in the scientific laboratories;
- ROSCOP/CSR: Cruises Summary Reports;
- EDIOS : Initial Observing Systems;
- EDMERP : Marine Environment Research Projects;
- EDMO: Marine Organizations.

An important service developed in SDN is the Common Data Index (CDI) data discovery & access service. This provides a highly detailed insight in the availability and geographical spreading of a large variety of marine and ocean data sets, that are managed by data holders/ centres, that are connected to the SDN infrastructure. Moreover, it provides a unique interface for requesting access, and if granted, for downloading data sets from the SDN distributed data holders/centres. The CDI service provides metadata and access to more than 1.600.000 data sets, originating from more than 500 organisations in Europe, covering physical, chemical, biological, geological and geophysical data, and acquired in European waters and global oceans. Already more than 105 data centres from 34 countries are connected.
Latest developmets of SDN in the data harmonization includes among others :
- compliancy to INSPIRE, implementing the ISO-19139 for metadata and information
- SDN NetCDF format definition and implementation
- Ocean Data View (ODV) format has been adapted to manage also biological data
- IOC-IODE Ocean Data Portal and GEOSS Portal are linked to SDN portal
- improvement of the QC of the delivered data (duplicate checks, format checks, quality check loops) in cooperation with regional GOOS organisations

Besides the technological developments, SDN enhance the quality and perennial safeguarding of the data through training and capacity building to insure a common level of expertise and practice in the overall data management and inter-compared basic tools to all data holders/centres. The data management made by the SDN professional structure will avoid the loss of valuable observational data and provides an easy and integrated access to them. Finally, the involvement of the main marine institutes, which support these data holders/centres contributes to the sustainability of the SDN system and can be enhanced further in the frame of a foreseen joint convention.