On Thursday, October 21, the Belgica research vessel arrived at the port of Odesa. The vessel transferred by the Kingdom of Belgium to Ukraine moored at the 18th berth of the seaport at 11.10, according to the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority on the Facebook social network.
"In the near future, the Belgica research vessel will receive a new name and will sail under the Ukrainian flag with the home port of Odesa. As part of the [Ukrainian scientific center of Ecology of Sea] UkrSCES expeditionary fleet base, this floating laboratory complex is planned to be used for scientific research in the Black and Azov Seas," the authority said.
It is noted that the vessel left the port of Zeebrugge on October 1 with a Ukrainian crew and a team of 16 foreign scientists on board. According to UkrSCES, during the transition from the North to the Mediterranean and further to the Black Sea, scientists on board the vessel took samples of sea water and bottom sediments for screening depths for the presence of pollutants and microplastics, analysis of the distribution and state of marine microorganisms. For this purpose, five operating laboratories (fisheries, hydrological, chemical, biochemical and microbiological) are equipped on board the Belgica research vessel.
The vessel was constructed in 1984 and has been used for all 37 years for scientific and practical research on the development of the sea shelf, in particular, in preparation for the construction of offshore drilling platforms and wind farms.