Bulgaria is among of the first members of the Intergovernemental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
According to Section 4, Article 35C each country which intend to be a member of IOC has to establish a National Oceanographic Commission or Committee. In 1968, a National Oceanographic Committee (NOC) was set up affiliated to the former Committee of Science and Technical Development. In 1999, NOC which in the mean time had been transfered to the structures of the Ministry of Education and Science was dismissed.
In 2002, a group of scientists of the Institute of Oceanology (IO) - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) submitted a proposal to the BAS Board of Directors to restore NOC activities. The idea was supported by BAS Board of Directors as well as of the IO Scientific Council which in the spring of 2002 worked out and submitted for approved by the BAS Board of Directors Rules for Structure and Activities of the National Oceanographic Commission.
The Minster of Education with a letter ref. ╣ 4-02-14/04.02.2003 proposed to BAS Board of Directors to handle the restoration of NOC activities. On 2nd April, 2003, BAS Board of Directors made the following decissions (Minites No3, art. 3.7):

  • Approved Rules for Structure and Activities of National Oceanographic Commission (NOC);
  • Elected for NOC Chairman Dr. Hristo Slabakov - Director of Institute of Oceanology " Fridtjof Nansen"

On 30th September, 2003 a set up meeting of NOC took place and its activities had been restored.



The National Oceanographic Commission is an independent consultative unit of the BAS Board of Directors referring marine science and technology issues. The Institute of Oceanology - BAS, Varna, is the headquarters of NOC.
NOC unites, on non-profit principle, representatives of academic research institutes, universities and higher schools, departments, agencies, organizations and companies which are concerned with marine sciences and technologies.
NOC is also a center of coordination of the research and methodological activities referring the implementation of the National Program for the Black Sea Protection (NPBSP) as well as other national and international programs and projects related with marine sciences and technologies.
NOC is a consultant of the Bulgarian government and other authorized organizations on the issues and programs of IOC-UNESCO.
NOC represents BAS in international organizations, programs and projects referring marine science and technologies.
In accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BAS and other authorized departments and organizations representing the Bulgarian interest in IOC - UNESCO, NOC sends its representatives to IOC sessions of the General Assembly and Executive Council.


Main goals of NOC:

  • Protection of the Black Sea and the historical heritage of the Bulgarian Black Sea zone;
  • Sustainable development of the coastal regions in ecological and social urban view;
  • Scientific, methodological and informational provision for the implementation of the national policy concerning marine sciences and technologies;
  • Coordination of scientific, methodological and informational activities concerning the implementation of the Black Sea National Program;
  • To assist the national institutional bodies in their activities ( economically and scientifically important for Bulgaria) referring the World Ocean.

Main tasks:
  • Scientific and informational provision of the National Black Sea Program implementation as well as other sea zones of national interest;
  • Scientific, expert and informational provision for the governmental obligations on international conventions, contracts and agreements referring protection and sustainable development of the Black Sea and other sea zones of national interest;
  • Coordination, organization and support of research activities in t he Black Sea and the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal zone;
  • Encouragement of communication between the scientists as well as their participation in national, regional and international programs and projects in the field of marine sciences and technologies;
  • Informational transfer among scientists and i nterested persons in the country and abroad;
  • Assessments, expertise statements, etc. for the needs of governmental bodies, international organizations, companies, non-governmental organizations, etc. related with management, protection, exploitation and monitoring of the Black Sea, the Bulgarian Black Sea coastal zone and other sea zones of national interest;
  • Organization of scientific conferences, workshops and training courses;
  • Publication of scientific, informational and popular materials in the field of marine sciences and technologies.

NOC consists of representatives of :

  • BAS constant units;
  • Universities and Higher Schools;
  • Other interested national bodi.

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