Supporting Sustainable Development of The Black Sea


With a history dating back as far as 1926, named after famous biologist Grigore Antipa, the father of oceanography in Romania, the National Institute for Marine Research and Development (NIMRD) based in Constanta is at the forefront of marine research and development supporting sustainable utilization and environmental safety of the Black Sea.

Having worked in the Institute for more than 40 years and serving for more than two decades as General Manager, Dr. Eng. Simion Nicolaev discusses the advantages the Black Sea offers and the efforts of NIMRD to keep it clean and safe: ”The Black Sea is highly productive and offers many opportunities in terms of leisure, food, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, navigation etc. Such activities have a critical impact on the sustainable development of the marine environment. On a larger scale, the ecosystem is also affected by global climate change. In this context, NIMRD has developed various scientific and technological research focused on deepening the knowledge of the driving forces governing the balance of the marine ecosystem. Our research is equally directed to elaborating solutions and technologies for the sustainable utilization of marine resources and for mitigating environmental risks caused by the natural phenomena and the impact of anthropogenic modifications”.

Since 2017, NIMRD is operating under the coordination of the Romanian Ministry of Research and Innovation, fulfilling their officially recognized national and international responsibilities such as Operational Oceanography Area, Marine Environment Protection Area and Marine Living Resources and Fisheries Area. The Institute operates the Romanian National Oceanographic and Environmental Data Center, which is a repository of oceanographic data providing timely, free and unrestricted access to all data, associated metadata and products generated under the auspices of IOC programmes.

State of the art technology to achieve ecology and safety

In order to comply with the requirements of such responsibilities, NIMRD is constantly investing in maintaining and updating its infrastructure and resources. The main facilities of the institute include modern laboratories, with international level research facilities, experimental basins with marine water (400 m2), mareograph network along the Romanian coast (Sulina, Midia, Constanta, Tomis Marina, Mangalia), Research Vessel “Steaua de Mare I” (130TRB/570 HP), speedboat “Marsuin” (7 m/150 HP) – dolphin survey, diving team with specific facilities and underwater TV-system, oceanographic data equipment and sampling equipment, (CTD, currentmeter etc.), drones, ROV & amphibian vehicle among others.

NIMRD ”Grigore Antipa” is committed to use all its knowledge and capabilities to preserve the quality of water and the environment as well as health and security of tourists and local inhabitants. Dr Nicolaev presents the latest achievements of his team: ”Every day we are working on something new – recently we launched an app called i-swim designed to monitor the currents and the formation of waves, including water temperature on the Black Sea coastline that is used by both lifeguards and regular tourists. Also in cooperation with a Portuguese company, using Copernicus platform, we developed a forecast system so we’re able to provide meteorological data for Mamaia and Constanta region”.

Focus and commitment for knowledge transfer to end users

NIMRD is the only R&D institute in Romania where research on marine aquaculture is conducted, as well as assessment of the Total Allowable Catch for the main marine fish species of commercial interest. The Institute also implements, together with the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture, the National Programme for Fisheries Data Collection, under which the fishing quotas are allocated by the EC.

Dr. Nicolaev mentions additional examples of cooperation with both governmental and private partners: ”The Institute works on contractor bases with the Ministry of Research and Innovation which we belong to, with Ministry of Waters and Forests, as they are responsible for environment monitoring system and marine monitoring, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, regarding the bio-diversity, as well as the Ministry of Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds using our spatial planning capabilities, and of course the Ministry of Tourism. We look forward to working together with any organization interested in our area of activity, we have great examples of joint projects, we have the resources, people and infrastructure. A great example is our cooperation with EXXON Mobil – we established a metodology for assesment of efficiency and toxicity of dispersants used for the specific type of oil found in the Black Sea. We are market leaders in off-shore activities; we managed to win tenders with the majority of off-shore operators due to the quality and reliability of our work”.

Additionally to expertise in off-shore activities and fishery sector, NIMRD has a proven record of successful projects in pharmaceutical and medical sector, insurance, environmental impact assessment studies for local and international energy and consulting companies. Dr Simion Nicolaev welcomes partners and end users to benefit from their knowledge and expertise: ”I invite specialists from different sectors and disciplines to cooperate as working together will open new oportunities for everybody. For example, we discussed here about the National Oceanographic and Environmental Data Center which was created and is operated by our institute. Well we wish to open this oportunity for other organizations to benefit from the data we collect including European institutes interested in such data. We feel it’s very important to find a common language when discussing about the issues in the Black Sea in comparison with other seas like the Mediterranean, the North Sea, Baltic Sea”.

Dr. Eng. Simion Nicolaev – General Director, e-mail:
Dr. Tania Zaharia – Scientific Director, email:
300 Mamaia Blvd, Constanta, RO-900581, Romania
+4 0241 543 288


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