Author: Desislava Georgieva
Published On: 03/11/2023

Two years after the pollution of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast with nitrogen fertilizers by the cargo ship “Vera Su”, no one has been effectively punished. Why? Who is responsible? This was asked by students from SU “Asen Zlatarov” in Shabla during a STEAM seminar, which was held on the eve of the International Black Sea Day. During the event, representatives of the Basin Directorate for the Black Sea region, the Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water (RIOSV) in Varna, the Institute of Oceanology, Shabla Municipality, RUO – Dobrich, Public Center for Environment and Sustainable Development, etc. were present.

More than seven times the values of ammonium and nitrite nitrogen were exceeded in the samples taken in October 2021 around the stranded ship off Kamen bryag. After pleading guilty, the ship’s captain received a suspended sentence last year and an obligation to pay BGN 3,601 – an amount equal to half of the costs of the case.

“All citizens are responsible. If people don’t ask and don’t look for answers, they won’t get them.” This was stated by the host of the seminar, Neli Raycheva, Ch. expert in Shabla Municipality.

The young people also raised the issue of the pollution of the Black Sea and ecosystems with plastic waste, as well as silting of Lake Shablen, which leads to a decrease in oxygen and the disappearance of fish. Regarding the last raised problem, they received an answer from the experts from the Basin Directorate. Together with the Municipality of Shabla, equipment will be hired to clear some of the reeds that swamp the Shabla and Durankulash lakes. In the past, the waters were used for irrigation, and now when the water level increases, part of the water is released into the sea, explained the directorate.

One of the main goals of the STEAM seminar is for young people to learn to formulate problems, to look for the institutions responsible for them, as well as the possibilities of civil society to solve them.

The event took place in the “Zora 1894” public school within the framework of the Educational Forum “Our Black Sea” organized by the Municipality of Shabla. 20 students from 9th to 12th grade of Asen Zlatarov Secondary School – Shabla took part. During the workshop, they investigated indicators of seawater from the Far Shabla area, bathing water quality and the state of marine ecosystems. The students were divided into four teams – citizens, non-governmental organizations, Bulgarian and European institutions.
With the help of an interactive map of the Earth, the students discovered the Black Sea and compared it in terms of salinity, acidity and temperature with the waters of the World Ocean.

At the end of the seminar, the video project of the winners of the municipal competition “Virtual tour of the Shable coast – from Durankulak to Tyulenovo” was presented. The tape of Stanislava Nikolova, aged 16, and Teodora Kostova – aged 15, will be uploaded to the website of the Municipality of Shabla.

In the final part of the educational forum, dozens of volunteers, families with small children, took part in cleaning the beach of the Dobrudzha campsite. During the action, the ornithologist Mihail Iliev from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds talked about the birds inhabiting Shablenska Tuzla, and the participants in the cleaning observed the numerous flamingos in the area through binoculars.