Turkish National Integrated Marine Pollution Monitoring Program is a huge monitoring program covering all the seas of Turkey; Marmara Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and Black Sea of Turkey with a large monitoring network of 364 stations. The program is designed according to the Regional Marine Conventions that Turkey is a part; Barcelona and Bucharest Conventions, their monitoring programmes, and the related EU directives (MSFD and WFD) and according to the national legislation. The program aims to provide information for marine and coastal water management strategies.
A monitoring strategy that can be implemented jointly in all our seas was developed with the contribution of the SINHA Project in 2011, which is owned by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and put into practice named as "Integrated Marine Pollution Monitoring Program (IMPM)” for our seas. Coastal water bodies and the marine areas were identified in the DeKoS Project (2011-2013) according to WFD and considering the needs of MSFD and IMPM reviewed and revised accordingly. With the new IMPM, new variables / indicators, assessment tools, updated station networks and sampling / analysis methods have been taken into consideration in order to be able monitor the biological quality elements, physicochemical variables supporting them, contaminants and marine litter required to be monitored for coastal and marine waters. As of 2014-2016, IMPM has been made regular and for the 2017-2019 period and 2020-2022 period, the program has been developed in 3-year periods, including the winter sampling season.
The program covers most of the pollution and quality components of IMAP and MSFD, it includes advanced level monitoring components like online monitoring, satellite monitoring activities, underwater noise etc. in pilot areas. In detail the national monitoring program has been implemented for 3 year periods, 2014-2019 period ended and 2020-2022 period studies has been going on. Chemical, ecological and hydromorphological assessments are carried out in marine assessment units and water bodies which were designated according to typologies, pressures and status informations. Bi-annual monitoring surveys in winter and summer are conducted in Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and Black Sea. In Marmara Sea three monitoring surveys are conducted in spring, summer and winter seasons.
In means of biodiversity and alien species; monitoring components involve phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrozoobenthos, seagrass, fish and macroalgea monitoring. For the pollution monitoring; physicocehmical parameters in water column and metal and organic pollution parameters in sediment and biota are analyzed. And also eutrophication status is determined. data quality is achieved by the intercalibaration tests (MEDPOL Proficiency Tests, BlackSea Secretariat Proficiency Tests, Quasimeme intercalibration etc.), accreditation of pollution parameters, ensured to use certified reference material and solutions.
Data is analysed and evaluated according to various evaluation tools; some examples are: for eutrophication TRIX, BEAST, HEAT, proportions of nutrients; for biota comparison with Turkish Food Codex, WHO Criterias; for pressure and impact analysis LUSI/LUSIVal indexes, MA-LUSI indexes; Chemical Status Classification, Ecological Status Classifications, Trend analysis, national legislation limiting value comparisons, for biological descriptors AMBI, M-AMBI, BENTIX, MEDOCC, TUBI indexes and more are evaluated. For marine litter; type, color, abundance, weight analysis, Clean Coast Index-CCI is evaluated. Validated and related data is reported to National Authorities, MEDPOL and to Black Sea Comission Secretariat.
It is aimed with IMPM Program to monitor pollution occurring in the seas of Turkey and its effects, chemical quality and ecological quality. Using the outputs obtained from the program, it is also aimed to determine/review national marine and coastal management policies and strategies, and form a basis to follow-up the effects of the precautions taken. Main goal is to produce data that can guide the pollution prevention studies, and make assessments to provide the information necessary to protect our seas and benefit from their sources.
For this purpose, in accordance with the ecosystem-based management principles, it is aimed to increase the spatial and temporal range of the integrated marine monitoring and evaluation studies, form sub-monitoring programs and implement new monitoring components and methods. A summary of the goals of IMPMP were given as below;
1 . Assessment and mapping of the pressures and effects caused by anthropogenic activities polluting our seas
2 . Monitoring of the long-term changes (trends) of metal and organic pollutants, nutrients and phytoplankton biomass (chlorophyll) in sea water, biota and sediment samples taken from polluted (affected) and unpolluted (unaffected) coastal regions
3 . Monitoring of eutrophication in our coastal waters located at pollution-sensitive, less pollution-sensitive and grey areas, and assessment of these areas
4 . Carrying out studies necessary for EU legislation such as Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Water Framework Directive (WFD) that is planned to be harmonized with, and performing studies in accordance with the recently renewed monitoring programs within the context of Barcelona and Bucharest conventions
5 . Defining “good environmental status” using ecological quality assessments and performing studies to track GES
6 . Adapting a risk-based monitoring approach and more frequent monitoring of the water bodies that are at the boundaries of medium/good quality status
7 . Establishing a basis for future monitoring studies and collecting the data necessary for pressure, status and effect analyzes systematically