Help to protect the Durankulak Lake in Bulgaria

Durankulak Lake – a Ramsar site and Natura 2000 Special Protected Area in NE Bulgaria is in danger! There is a detrimental investment proposal which will endanger the biodiversity of the lake, its water resources without any real benefit to the local community or the region. The investment proposal for intensive fisheries and urbanization of the coastline will damage the area and have a detrimental effect on the biodiversity there.

Durankulak Lake is one of the most significant and best preserved coastal wetlands in Bulgaria, with international significance for the conservation of more than 260 species of rare and endangered plants and animals.

Why is this investment proposal dangerous?


The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds stated its strong position against the implementation of this investment proposal (IP) for number of reasons, including:

  1. It is prohibited to realize the project as it would be realized in a key special protected area (SPA) Natura 2000 network designated for the conservation of the wild birds “Durankulak Lake” (BG0002050) and the SPA for the protection of the natural habitats of the wild flora and fauna “Lake Durankulak”.
  2. Durankulak Lake Protected Territory Management Plan does not contain any texts providing for the abstraction of water quantities (underground or surface) for the needs of fisheries.
  3. There is not enough information provided in the investor’s proposal – it is envisaged that bungalows/cottages will be built but their capacity and size have not been specified.
  4. In view of the lack of sewage system and canalization, there is a real risk of contamination of the soil with wastewater, as well as their infiltration into the lake, as well as of organic pollution from the fish farms.
  1. Possible impact on birds 

А) Habitat destruction – direct and passive habitat loss and fragmentation.

B) Mortality of birds linked to increased conflict withpiscivorus birds, including, cormorants, grebes, divers and herons and through potential increase of hunting pressure and poaching;

C) Disturbance and displacement of birds due to increased human presence during breeding, migration and wintering period;.

D) Deterioration of the quality of the habitats due to noise and light pollution, linked to the exploitation of the fishponds;.

E) Deterioration of the quality of adjacent habitats due to disturbance of water balance (excessive water abstraction) and pollution /eutrophication by untreated wastewater from the fishponds and housing facilities.


BSPB filed an objection  against this investment proposal in RIEW-Varna in December 2019 with a request for its suspension or at least for preparation of an EIA report for the project, which objectively reflect the factual situation and make detailed analyzes based on the best available information. We are still awaiting a response to our complaint.

This investment proposal should not be realized as envisaged because it will have irreversible impact on different species of plants and animals protected by the Ramsar Convention and Bird and Habitat Directives of the EU and it will significantly impact the ecological condition and biodiversity of the Durankulak Lake.

Sign the petition and support us in our fight against the destruction of this natural wealth!