Research and Restoration of the Essential Filters of the Sea (REEFS) is a pilot project focused on the scientific research of environmental impact of the artificial reefs in the area of Black sea countries. REEFS Project is a joint cross-border initiative of five partners from the riparian countries – Bulgaria (Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation), Ukraine (Odessa Branch of the Institute for Biology of the Southern Seas), Romania (Mare Nostrum NGO), Georgia (Ilia State University) and Turkey (Karadeniz Technical University).
Artificial reefs are often defined as any human-made structure or equipment deliberately placed in marine environment where that structure does not exist under natural circumstances. The purpose for constructing and placement of these structures under water is:
- enhancing the fishery resourches and increasing populations of all sorts of plants and animal marine life
- hydrobiological amelioration
- tourists entertainment
The Black Sea, as any other marine basin, has its ecological problems related to human activities and because it is almost isolated from the World Ocean, these problems are more acute than those in open marginal seas having a free water exchange with the ocean:
- massive pre-fertilization of Black Sea with nitrogen and phosphorus compounds known as “anthropogenic euthrofication”
- disposal of unsufficient purified wastewaters
- degradation of bottom algal communities
- oxygen deficiency in near-bottom water layers
- unmanaged overfishing and bottom trawling
- lack of information and economic difficulties
The overall objectives of REEFS Project is to establish long-term partnership platform for scientific, technical, administrative and awareness raising activities in favour of artificial reefs practice as a way of active support of the self-restoration of the Black Sea ecosystem.
Research and Restoration of the Essential Filters of the Sea (REEFS) is two-years project funded by the Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2007-2013” under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument.