Bystroe Channel


Bystroe Channel is a channel in the Ukrainian part of the Danube Delta which passes through the core zone of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. It was among the main Ukrainian waterways until 1959, when its exploitation stopped due to natural silting.

In 2004, Ukraine inaugurated work on improving navigability of the Bystroe Channel to provide a deep-water route from the Danube to the Black Sea under Ukrainian control. Because of the negative impact which this new channel may have upon the fragile ecosystem of the Delta, the European Union advised Ukraine to shut down the works. Romanian officials threatened to sue Ukraine at the International Court of Justice.

In 2009, despite criticism from the international community and Ukrainian organisations, the government of Ukraine completed the first phase of the project. Today, shipping on the canal is increasing.

Corrections as well as digging of various secondary channels throughout the body of the Danube Delta have had a serious impact on the Delta ecosystems. Natural environments have been altered, the breeding pattern of fish has been disrupted, and the flows in the main arms have increased, with serious consequences regarding the discharge of the alluvia and the erosion of the banks.


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Bystroe Channel | navigation | Danube Delta | Ukraine

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