Satellite monitoring of Black Sea waters

The situation of pollution of the surface of the Black Sea marine waters is worrying.
Currently, due to economic activities in coastal areas, due to maritime transport but also due to offshore gas and oil extraction, traces of pollution with hydrocarbons, various chemicals and marine plastic waste appear on the surface of the Black Sea waters.

Fig.1 Satellite images of hydrocarbon pollution on the main transport routes in the Black Sea.

Figure 1 shows the massive oil pollution on the main transport routes:
Bosphorus strait exit – Varna port Constanta port – Odessa port, Bosphorus strait exit – Sevastopol port – Novorosisk port, Kerci strait exit – Batumi port, Bosphorus strait area, Sulina-Constanta Danube estuary area, Crimea area – Kerci strait, Batumi port area .
The European Union uses the CleanSeaNet Service to monitor marine waters by detecting oil slicks on the sea surface, identifying potential pollutants and visualizing the spread of oil during maritime emergencies.
Information is essential to improve the capacity to intervene effectively in the illegal discharge of oil and other substances into the marine environment.
The CleanSeaNet service connects surveillance centers in the Member States of the European Union and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency). It currently works
The Copernic Sentinel-1 satellite system, based on a wide range of SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellites, has been used by the CleanSeaNet Service since 2015 and consists of a constellation of two satellites, Sentinel-1A and Sentinel-1B.
In the Black Sea, the CleanSeaNet service is active on the west coast, including the coast of Ukraine (Odessa area), the coast of Romania, Bulgaria until entering the Bosphorus and on the east coast in the area of ​​Georgia.
In the Black Sea, under the coordination of the Black Sea Commission (BSC) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centers with protection against marine pollution (MRCC) have been established in all riparian countries.

1. Romania
-MRCC Constanta
The Romanian MRCC service is responsible for fulfilling the attributions of the Romanian Naval Authority regarding the coordination of search and rescue activities for human lives at sea, as well as for fulfilling the attributions regarding the protection of navigable waters against pollution by ships, in the area of responsibility of the Maritime Center. of Coordination.
The area of responsibility of the Maritime Coordination Center is represented by inland maritime waters (including ports), the Danube Canal – Black Sea, the waterways of the Biosphere Reserve “Danube Delta”, the territorial sea, the contiguous area and the exclusive economic zone.

The other Black Sea Maritime Coordination Centers are:

2. Bulgaria
3. Ukraine
4. Turkey
5. Russia
6. Georgia

Fig.2 The area supervised by the CleanSeaNet Service

How are oil spills and satellite vessels detected?

Fig.3 Radar image of a pollution and the road of the polluting ship.

Monitoring is possible using SAR images and additional terrestrial optical information.
With SAR images, oil spills are displayed as dark spots and ships’ ships as light spots, thus managing to visualize oil pollution and at the same time identify the polluting ship. Images can be purchased regardless of weather conditions, time of day or cloud cover.

CleanSeaNet brochure service.html
Site EMSA- Agentia Europeana pentru Siguranta Maritima :
Site ANR- Autoritatea navala Romana :

Author: ECOM – Hangu Raul Constantin



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