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Biodiversity of Danube Delta not yet affected by Bystroye dredging, Romanian minister says

Posted on March 15, 2023

Romania’s minister of environment, Tanczos Barna, recently said that the biodiversity of the Danube Delta has not been affected by dredging works done by Ukraine in the Bystroye canal. He also said that Romania would never agree to any dredging that would harm the Delta.

Barna explained that a preliminary report put together following the analysis of 14 transversal sections strictly on the Chilia branch over a length of about 100 km shows no proof of substantial modifications caused by dredging. Romania is now awaiting Ukraine’s permission to measure the entire length of the Bystroye canal and the Chilia branch.

“In recent weeks, my colleagues from the National Administration of Romanian Waters and the Administration of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve have not been idle and have made the first measurements regarding the flow of the Danube on the Chilia and the sections where we have access. […] We have gone to the other side of the Danube with the agreement of our Ukrainian partners and neighbors,” Barna said, cited by G4Media.

The measurements confirm that the flows have not changed compared to the statistical flows of the last 10-20 years in that area. They also confirm that there are no substantial modifications caused by dredging on the 14 transversal sections.

Romania needs Ukraine’s permission, which was promised and verbally confirmed at the bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Transport, so that the three vessels prepared by the Ministry of Transport can finalize this measurement procedure of depth and calculation of flows.

“Biodiversity in the Danube Delta is not affected by these works today, and Romania will never agree to works that affect biodiversity in the Danube Delta,” said Tanczos Barna, when asked at the end of the government meeting whether biodiversity in the Danube Delta had been affected by the dredging.

“We need the written consent of the Ukrainian side to take measurements, to calculate the current flows, and to see if there have been significant depth changes in the areas we are talking about, and after that we will do all the measurements that are necessary. The preliminary report provides the details I mentioned earlier, regarding 14 cross-sections where measurements were taken, detailing the flow calculation based solely on these measurements taken on the Chilia branch. It refers strictly to the area where Romanian territorial waters exist and does not refer to the Bystroye channel, which is entirely on Ukrainian territory,” the minister added.

Last month, Romanian prime minister Nicolae Ciuca said that Ukraine deepened the Bystroye canal in the Danube Delta more than allowed by bilateral and international agreements.


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