The Ship "Mikhail Somov" Set Out On A Search For Narwahls

Photo: Andrey Parshin
Photo: Andrey Parshin

The second stage of the "Transarctic-2019" expedition was launched from Arkhangelsk on the scientific expedition Roshydromet's vessel "Mikhail Somov" on May 15. Russian scientists of the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation "Rosgidromet Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute" and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution named after A.N. Severtsov RAN will conduct comprehensive research in the Barents Sea within a month.

Hydrometeorological observations, monitoring of ice conditions and wildlife will be conducted along the route of the vessel. The main purpose of the work is to assess the state of the waters, marine and coastal ecosystems of the Arctic seas in connection with global climate change and to obtain timely information on the state of the ecosystems of the marine environment. According to the expedition program, hydrometeorological observations, monitoring of ice conditions and monitoring of the Arctic fauna, in particular, cetaceans are planned to conduct.

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Photo: Andrey Parshin
Photo: Andrey Parshin

One of the goals of the "Transarctic-2019" expedition is to monitor rare red book cetaceans, narwhals (Monodon monoceros), living, in particular, on the territory of the "Russian Arctic" National Park. It is worth noting that the monitoring of narwhals in the national park is carried out as part of the state assignment. However, the study of the so-called sea unicorn is always linked with difficulties. First of all, they are associated with a low number of individuals living in the western sector of the Russian Arctic, as well as with the cautious behavior of this mammalian species. That is why this mysterious and rare whale became the symbol of the "Russian Arctic" National Park.

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Photo: Pavel Kononov
Photo: Pavel Kononov

Scientific work at the "Mikhail Somov" Scientific Expeditionary Ship in the Barents Sea will be one of the stages of a comprehensive study of the Russian Arctic. The goal of the entire expedition in 2019 is to assess the state of the waters, marine and coastal ecosystems of the Arctic Ocean in connection with global climate change and to obtain timely information about the state of the ecosystems of the marine environment. These data will allow scientists to assess the patterns of formation of the state of the Arctic environment and its possible changes in the existing climatic conditions. The state inspector of the "Russian Arctic" National Park will monitor compliance with environmental legislation on the expedition. The expedition will end on June 15 in Arkhangelsk.

 Information is provided by the press service of the "Russian Arctic" national park.