On February 18, hydrobiologists from Sevastopol successfully completed scientific research in the waters of the Black, Marmara, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, as well as the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits. For a month, the scientists worked on board the Russian military rescue vessel “Epron”. The expedition members covered 2250 nautical miles, took more than 70 samples and processed about 13 tons of sea water.
Two specialists from the Kovalevsky Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas in Sevastopol studied the current state of surface water and suspended matter in sea water. The studies were carried out to assess contamination with radionuclides, heavy metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. The scientists took some of the samples with them ashore to continue their work at the science laboratory.
“Conditions on a military vessel are very different from research ones. But thanks to real mutual assistance and cooperation with the crew of the ship, we managed to obtain many interesting samples and conduct comprehensive radiochemical and environmental studies in those areas that are currently inaccessible to Sevastopol scientists,” Ilya Sidorov, junior researcher at the institute, shared the results of the expedition.
The scientists from the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas have been monitoring the ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea since 1990. However, after 2014, the research was suspended. The research vessel "Professor Vodyanitsky" cannot leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation due to international sanctions. The current expedition took place thanks to the close cooperation of the Sevastopol branch of the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
“The voyage on the ‘Epron’ rescue ship launches a whole series of joint research and search activities of the department and the Black Sea Fleet, scheduled for 2022,” Vladimir Vorobyov, chairman of the Sevastopol Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, noted before the start of the expedition in January.