Thirty experts, supported by a technical team from Duke University and members of the CBD Secretariat, met in Baku, Azerbaijan for the 13th Regional EBSA Workshop on 24-27 April 2017. This workshop to describe EBSAs for the Black Sea and Caspian Sea recognised the unique nature of both Seas at a global scale, specifically noting limited connection to the world’s oceans, climatic and salinity gradients, and biodiversity components adapted to deep anoxic waters.
A total of 33 candidate EBSAs were described – 17 for the Black Sea and 16 for the Caspian Sea. These included a number of special bays and deltas, as well as areas of significance for specific species and habitats such as the Caspian Seal and Phyllophora fields. It was also acknowledged that much of the abyssal Black Sea has not been surveyed in detail, and that biodiversity associated with unusual features such as cold (methane) seeps and mud volcanoes warrants further research.