Bulgaria

There are four study areas within the Sozopol Bay‘s ‘Gradina-Zlatna Ribka’ Natura 2000 site. Within each of the study areas there are 2 study sites with marked quadrants for observation and transects for scuba divers.  These include : Cape Chervenka, St. Ivan Island, the North coast of the old town of Sozopol ( Palikari), and Sozopol-Port area

Cape Chervenka

The area include three diving transects with permanent quadrants: cape Chervenka, Chervenka Reef and Zostera seagrass bed at Gradina camping site.

Cape Chervenka : a shallow water rocky reef with typical Black sea algae and marine animals (zoobenthos). The site is accessible by boat and is at depths between 1-2 m and 12-14 m, and has two permanent quadrants for observation.

Chervenka Reef: a deeper-water offshore reef located some 500 m east of Cape Chervenka. The reef is covered by the impressive biogenic Ostrea edulis ‘ostrak’ structures and typical Black Sea zoobenthic organisms – black mussels, sponges, as well as different reef-dwelling fish species, and has two permanent quadrants for observation. The reef is accessible by boat and is at depths between 13 and 18 meters.

Video of dive transect available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsFXzG96p0Y

Zostera Seagrass bed at Gradina: a shallow-water seagrass bed in the vicinity of the Gradina camping site. One of the most preserved and best developed seagrass meadows along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, with the two typical Zostera species – Zostera marina and Zostera noltei, as well as a number of fish and invertebrate species typical for these ecosystems, and has two permanent quadrants for observation. The site is accessible from land and by boat, and is at depths between 1-2 and 8 m.  A great location for night dives. 

Video of the transect available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JkjVlzomnY

Saint Ivan Island

St Ivan – East. A rocky reef located on the NE end of the island in a small bay. The site hosts typical Black Sea flora and fauna and impressive rocky formations, and has two permanent quadrants for observation. The depth of the diving transects is between 1-2 m and  13-14 m.

RK-Pioner :  a sunken fishing vessel located at depths between 13-14 m ( upper deck ) and 18-19 m ( sea bottom). The ship is overgrown by Black Sea benthic animals and plants and is a home of  a diversity of fish species. It has two permanent quadrants for observation. 

Sozopol-old town

The area has two diving transects:

Sozopol Palikari – a dive through the rocky reefs on the N shore of Sozopol, starting from 2-3 m and finishing at 12-13 m. It hosts the most typical benthic flora and fauna of the area and has permanent quadrants for observation

Video of study transect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a6WWlwFHKM

Sozopol-Stenata: a deeper-water offshore reef located some 500 m north  of the coast of Sozopol old town. The reef is covered by the impressive biogenic Ostrea edulis ‘ostrak’ structures and typical Black Sea zoobenthic organisms – black mussels, sponges, as well as different reef-dwelling fish species, as well as different  ship anchors. The site has two permanent quadrants for observation. The reef is accessible by boat and is at depths between 15 and 21 m.

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Video of transect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqpYGO_OZa4 

Sozopol – port

A shallow water dive transect at the W end of Sozopol Bay near the Sozopol port and the location of the old sewer canal of the town ( not operational any more). A site of rapid recovery of the typical Black Sea marine flora and fauna with new species arriving every year. The site has two permanent quadrants for observation.

Video of the dive transect: 

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