Starting from 2014, the monitoring program conducted by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change has been carried out in collaboration with universities and public institutions under the coordination of TUBITAK Marmara Research Center.
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.
It includes 2017-2019 years as a continuation of the program conducted in 2014-2016. Water bodies beyond our coastal waters were included in the monitoring program and the geographical range of marine monitoring has been extended. Monitoring of Black Sea waters with 7 transect up to 30 nautical miles offshore has been started in 2017.
Subjects studied were listed as below;
1. Marine studies were conducted as 3 periods for Marmara Sea and 2 periods for other seas in each year, and open sea waters were included in the studies at a higher rate than the previous years (2014-2016). Monitoring activities in sea waters that we have a wider jurisdiction were increased, especially in the Black Sea.
2. Physicochemical features of Turkish seas and coastal waters, components and indicators reflecting ecological status, pollution status, radioactivity levels, solid waste accumulates on land and in sea, sea grasses, seabed biodiversity, and target species for commercial fishery and their pollution levels were monitored. Results obtained were used for quality classifications and assess the status of coastal water bodies and marine areas.
3. In addition to the water column studies performed in 330 stations, macro florae were studied in a total of 56 stations, and biodiversity (fish) with trawling and solid waste were studied in 80 stations. Additionally, pollution studies were conducted for two commercial fish species in 40 trawling stations and pollution of mussels were investigated in 5 stations. Moreover, two sea grass and 4 coastal solid waste studies were conducted spatially.
4. In addition to the biological components, 70 macrozoobenthos, 95 phytoplankton and 62 zooplankton studies were performed. Common Pollutant levels were determined in a total of 100 sediment stations and compared with the previous years.
5. Monitoring of the radioactivity levels in sediment and water samples taken from 20 stations in Turkish seas continued. As in 2014-2016 period, microplastic studies were conducted at pilot-scale.
6. Within the context of the project, feasibility studies for the establishment and dissemination of the pilot-scale systems that monitors the quality and hydrodynamic features of sea water using buoys were conducted and reported.
7. Studies that evaluates pressures and effects together with regard to coastal water body management were conducted.
8. By monitoring the physical features, chemical features, pollution status and ecological status of our seas, knowledge-based assessments were made to determine the national sea management policies and strategies. Status reports for our seas were generated as an outcome of these studies.