Multinational cruise to collect data in the Black Sea

In the framework of the EU-funded SESAME project, 16 Greek scientists set sail on 3 October for the Black Sea, where they will meet up with colleagues from Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine.
Together, they will collect new data on the effects of the Danube River delta on the Black Sea ecosystem.

The researchers want to study sediment fluxes and geochemistry. Besides gathering information on pH, carbon dioxide and bacterial community structure in a number of designated places for the
SESAME database, the multinational cruise will also act as one of the building blocks for SESAME’s future education platform. Students from various schools will be able to follow the cruise
activities and talk to the crew during the expedition.

The general scientific objective of SESAME is to assess and predict changes in the Mediterranean and Black Sea ecosystems. In order to achieve this, experts are looking at regime shifts that
occurred over the past 50 years, but are also trying to predict what is going to happen in the next 50 years. SESAME does not exclusively concentrate on ecological aspects; it also takes into
consideration economic aspects of ecological changes, studying their effects on key goods and services such as tourism and fisheries. The project’s findings will be disseminated to the general
public, as the creation of a public platform is one of its focal points.

Coordinated by the Athens-based Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), SESAME is an Integrated Project supported by the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). It receives
?10 million in EU funding; the total project cost is nearly ?15 million. Participants include 46 research organisations from EU Member States, associated states, associated candidate countries,
non-EU Mediterranean countries and Newly Independent States (NIS), as well as international organisations.

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