Black Sea

The Black Sea is a large inland sea situated at the southeastern extremity of Europe. It is one of the most famous inland seas in the world and is bordered by Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. 

Latest Context – 

  • Over 2,000 forces and 30 ships participated in Exercise Breeze 2021, in the Black Sea, conducted between July 12, and 19, 2021. The annual Bulgarian-led maritime exercise involves forces from 14 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Allies and partners
  • In another one of the recent events, Russia alleged that Britain breached its territorial waters in the Black Sea. The area of breach claimed by Russia is believed to belong to Ukraine
    • NATO too had to increase its activities in the Black Sea after Russia, in 2014, annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine and declared areas around its coast to be Russian waters

The geographical aspects, facts and Black Sea countries constitute an important part of the UPSC Syllabus and candidates preparing for the upcoming civil services exam must refer to the information discussed further below. 

Black Sea [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

Also, refer to the links given below and complement your IAS Exam preparation:

Major Straits of the World Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)  International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Sea Snot Outbreak in Turkey Suez Canal Blockage 2021

Black Sea Map and Geographical Features

Black Sea Map

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Given below are other important facts and geographical features of the Black Sea:

Total shoreline (without Sea of Azov shoreline) 4340 km; This includes (country-wise shorelines):

Bulgaria: 300 km

Georgia: 310 km

Romania: 225 km

The Russian Federation: 475 km

Turkey: 1400 km

Ukraine: 1628 km

Area of Water Surface 432 000 km2
Which rivers flow into the Black Sea? Danube, Dnieper and Don via the Sea of AzovRioni, Kodori and Inguri Chorokh, Kyzyl-Irmak, Eshil-Irmak, Sakarya, Southern Bug and Dnister
Countries bordering the Black Sea Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania

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  • The Black Sea is located in Eurasia, surrounded by Europe, Caucasus and Anatolia
  • It is surrounded by the Pontic, Caucasus, and Crimean Mountains in the south, east and north respectively.
  • The Black Sea connects with the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosporus Strait, and then through the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles Strait

UPSC 2023

Black Sea – Key Facts

  • It is a habitat for various biological species, including 1619 species of Fungi, algae,  and higher plants; 1983 varieties of invertebrates; 168 fish species and 4 types of marine mammals
  • The nature of Black Sea water is anoxic. This means there is a significant deficiency of oxygen in the water
    • Anoxic waters are areas of seawater, freshwater, or groundwater that are depleted of dissolved oxygen and are a more severe condition of hypoxia
    • The Sea is one of the largest water bodies where the movement of water between the lower and upper layers is a rare phenomenon 
  • On April 21, 1992, acting on the mandate of all Back Sea countries (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Ukraine), the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution was signed in Bucharest
  • It is a saltwater sea but its salinity is not as high as ocean water. It is believed that thousands of years ago the water was freshwater but later due to the Mediterranean Sea and floods, the water turned salty
  • Shipping and Ports
    • The maritime sector in the Black Sea countries is one of the key economic factors. Thus, there are ports along the coast of the countries and trade through ships is allowed via the Black Sea
    • Ferry and Chartered services too are available at a few of the major ports in the connected countries
    • Under the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, innocent passage permits a vessel to pass through another state’s territorial waters so long as this does not affect its security
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture
    • Fisheries have been prevalent in the Black Sea since ancient times
    • Numerous factors threaten the sustainability of Black Sea fisheries, including increased pollution from human activities, habitat degradation, the introduction of non-indigenous species, overfishing and the impacts of climate-driven changes on the marine environment and its ecosystems
Kickstart your UPSC preparation now and complement it with the links given below:

Consequences of Environmental Changes on the Black Sea

The Black Sea had a very stable ecosystem, until the last few decades when the human economic and social activities have severely resulted in the degradation of the seawater and ecosystem. The environmental and climatic degradation has led to:

  • Increased pressure on the marine and coastal environment 
  • Fish stocks are slowly decreasing and have left a negative impact on fisheries
  • The habitat of animals living in the waterbed has been disturbed
  • The dynamic quality of coastal water impacted by pollution from multiple coastal sources and off-shore installations and activities is an issue for the rapidly developing touristic sector

Aspirants looking forward to applying for the upcoming IAS Exam can refer to the UPSC FAQ page and get answers to all their queries about the civil services recruitment and selection process. 

To get the latest information about the upcoming government exams, study material for preparation and tips to excel in the examination, candidates can turn to BYJU’S for assistance. 

Online Quiz 2023

Frequently Asked Questions on Black Sea


Q 1. Why is the Black Sea called the ‘Black Sea’?

Ans. Many ancient theories are believed for the naming of the Black Sea. It is believed that various savage tribes lived on the shores of the sea, which made it inhospitable. Another theory says that sailors and pirates gave the name as they were struck by its dark appearance under stormy skies. Also, because the water is anoxic in nature, decomposition is tougher in the lower layers of the sea. This is another reason which made scary rumours emerge about the sea and later resulted in naming it the same. However, no clear reason is still available.

Q 2. Is their marine livelihood in the Black Sea?

Ans. Yes, the sea is extremely rich in flora and fauna and various species of plants and animals can be found underwater in the seabed.
Other Related Links
IAS Salary UPSC Age Limit
World Geography through Maps Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
UPSC Prelims Environment and Ecology Questions Previous Year UPSC Prelims Geography Questions With Solutions
Environment & Ecology Questions in UPSC Mains  Geography Questions in UPSC Mains


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