First Round Table in Odessa, Ukraine

 On 29-30 November 2012 in Odessa, Ukraine  the First Round table “Black Sea REEFS Restoration-Legal and Environmental Aspects” was held   in the frame of the REEFS Project .

The aim of this Round table was to review the legislative and institutional framework together with the administrative procedures related to reefs conservation and restoration in the  Black Sea.

Scientists,  environmentalists, legal experts and public bodies’ representatives  from all partnering countries-Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey,  exchanged information and discussed  on the legal and environmental aspects of the artificial reefs’ deployment and  needed advocacy measures.

Opening speeches were given by Prof. Boris Aleksandrov, Head of the Odessa Branch of the Institute for Biology  of Southern Seas (OBIBSS) and by Mr. Petko Tzvetkov, Project Manager of REEFS Project and representative  of Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation .

Alexander Asenov (Bulgaria), Legal expert of REEFS Project, made a  legal analysis of the International and European law as well  a review of  the legislation on the national level in Bulgaria  related to the artitificial reefs.

Mariana Stoyanova (Bulgaria), Partnership coordinator of REEFS Project, presented the international organizations, forums and initiatives in the field of artificial reefs.

Prof. Boris Alexandrov (Ukraine), Coordinator Environmental Impact Assessment of REEFS Project, presented floating reef   that have been instaled in Odessa Bay in October 2013. The aim of the floating reef is to study the development of the fouling community  on the four  different type of materials of the artificial reef.

The review of the legislation, regulations and  administrative procedures as well the institutions involved in this process in the other affiliate countries was made too. An  interesting debate on the ownership of the artificial reefs and their resources took place as a part of the programme of the forum.

Long and extensive discussion on the different common definitions and priority purposes of the artificial reefs was held. Finally  the definition of the artificial reefs according to the London convention (2009) was adopted by all participants.