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Research Vessel Belgica arrives in Odesa

On October 21, the Research Vessel Belgica, donated to Ukraine under an agreement with the EU, moored to the Odesa Maritime Station with 12 Ukrainian sailors and scientists of the Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of Sea and the Institute of Marine Biology on board.

"Earlier, we used to charter vessels for monitoring the Black Sea, and now we can conduct research on our own vessel," said Olena Marushevska, a representative of the EU-UNDP project "EU for Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea", an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

According to her, while the ship was heading from the port of Zeebrugge to Odesa, marine biologists of the Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of Sea and the Institute of Marine Biology carried out ecological monitoring of the Northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean waters and sampled seawater and bottom sediments to screen contaminants and microplastics and assess biodiversity.

The RV Belgica is equipped with special sonars and an echo sounder capable of scanning the seabed. It will be re-equipped by the end of the year, after which marine biologists will resume research in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The RV Belgica was donated to Ukraine under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and the relevant agreement between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the Belgian Science Policy Office, and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

There are five laboratories on board (fish, hydrological, chemical, biochemical, and microbiological). The RV Belgica was built in 1984. The length of the vessel is 51.12 m, width – 10 m, draft – 4.6 m, water displacement – 1200 tonnes.

Photo credit: Facebook account of Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority

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