establishes the Marine Data Bank (MDB)
MSC specialized staff has established lately the Marine Data
Bank (MDB). The goal behind this bank is to gather the
marine and atmospheric data of the local, regional and
international river and marine waters. The MDB staff will be
working in contact with the International Oceanographic Data
and Information Exchange (IODE) and the interested
organizations for universal exchange of data.
The MDB is open to all researchers in the Iraqi universities
who are willing to support the bank with any useful data for
Meanwhile, the MDB staff is working on constructing a
special website under the address http://www.mdbmscbasra.org that
will be published soon.
Chancellor of the University of Basrah visits MSC
Chancellor of the University of Basrah, Prof. Dr. Thamir A.
Hamdan, has visited MSC on Tuesday, Dec. 12th, 2015, meeting the
MSC academic staff. Prof. Hamdan was accompanied by the
managerial deputy of the chancellery, Prof. Dr. Sajid S. Al-Noor,
the scientific deputy, Prof. Dr. Shakir Abd Al-Min’im, and a
delegation from the Office of the Inspector General. Prof.
Hamdan started the meeting with a speech praising the activities
of MSC researchers and staff. Then he discussed projects at the
MSC with the staff.
Salinity in Shatt Al-Arab River: the Ecological Change and
Solution: a Seminar
As part of the MSC activities directed to the local directorates
in Basrah, MSC started a group of informative and developing
seminars to the members of several directorates interested in
MSC research. The first seminar, entitled ‘Salinity in Shat
Al-Arab: the Ecological Change and Solution’, was presented by
Assist. Prof. Sadiq S. Abdullah from the MSC Department of
Marine Physics. The seminar tackled several points including the
main source of water in Basrah, and the human, agricultural, and
industrial use of water throughout the history of the region.
Also, he explained the hydrological changes of the river which
caused the severe decline in the discharge and quality of fresh
water and the impact of the salt tide extending from the Arabian
Gulf towards the north part of the river as well as the
disappearance of the downstream area, which was located in the
Gulf waters, south of the city of Faw.
Consul in Basrah visits the MSC Shatt Al-Arab Marine Station
delegation from the Kuwait Consulate in Basrah, headed by the
consul Mr. Yusif A. Al-Sabbagh, first secretariat, Mr. Wa’il AR.
Al-Bakr and Mr. Muhammed Al-Shatti, visited the MSC Shatt
Al-Arab Marine Station on Friday, Dec 12th, 2015. The
delegation was received by the Scientific Deputy of the
Chancellery of the University of Basrah, Prof. Dr. Sajid S. Al-Noor
and the MSC Director General, Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul, as well
as the station crew. The visit included a tour inside the MSC
Shatt Al-Arab Marine station and a presentation about the
history of Naseem Al-Basrah research vessel.
Geographic visits MSC
Andrew Lawler, a well-known writer from National Geographic, has
visited MSC, interviewing the Director General Prof. Dr. Ali AZ.
Douabul. During the interview Mr. Lawler presented many
questions concerning the history of MSC, its establishments, the
scientific departments, work of interest, and the academic
Different points were raised by Mr. Lawler dealing with the
immediate issues faced by Iraq like; water crisis, dryness of
marshes which caused immigration of locals, global warming and
its impact of the Iraqi environment, and the Iraqi policies
adopted in facing these issues.
Prof. Douabul shed light on the discovery of coral reefs in the
Iraqi marine waters as a first record in the region, and the
marine voyage conducted lately by MSC Basrah Breeze Research
Vessel and the new species which were registered during the
At the end of the interview, Prof. Douabul focused on water
crisis and the urgent need for special policies to face this
serious problem which demands a regional collaboration as well
as a water conservation in agricultural uses.
Listing the Iraqi Marshes within the World Heritage: A Workshop
Iraqi Ministry of Culture has nominated Prof. Dr. Hassan KH.
Hassan, from the MSC Department of Marine Sedimentology, to take
part in the workshop held in Amman, Jordon, about listing the
Iraqi marshes within the Human Heritage List. The workshop
occurred Dec. 19th- 24th, 2015 under direct supervision from
UNESCO. The workshop included presentations dealing with the
mechanism followed by UNESCO in listing Intangible Cultural
Heritage. As an area of intangible
heritage of Iraq, the Iraqi marshes, which extend in the region
of three Iraqi cities- Basrah, Misa, Dhi-Qar- was introduced in
MSC Researchers Participate in the Babylon Conference on
group of MSC researchers from the Department of Marine
Invertebrates have participated in the Babylon Conference on
Environment Sciences which was conducted by the Environment
Research Centre in the University of Babylon. The conference was
held between Dec. 15th- 16th, 2015 and tackled the most
problematic issues faced by the Iraqi environment and the
possible methods of treatment.
MSC researchers have focused on the
problems facing the Shatt Al-Arab River, like the odd types of
fish entering the river, and presented the river shad fisheries
and the main problems encountered by the stock of this fish.
MSC Researchers who participated in
the conference were:
Dr. Nouri AN. Nasir
Kadhim H. Yunis
Abbas J. Toman
Ahmed Ch. Jabbar
Ghassan A. Kamil
Researchers Participate in the Second International Conference
Dr. Faris J. Al-Imarah, and Assist. Prof. Ali Mahdi, from the
MSC Department of Marine Chemistry, have participated in the
Second International Conference on Biology which was held by the
College of Education for Girls in the University of Kufa between
Dec. 16th- 17th, 2015. The conference was held in collaboration
between the mentioned college and the Secretariat of the Grand
Al-Kufa mosque. The two researchers were rewarded by Certificate
of Gratitude for their presentations in the conference.
MSC Holds a Workshop on the Security of Laboratories
the sponsorship of the Chancellor of the University of Basrah,
Prof. Dr. Thamir A. Hamdan, and in collaboration with the
College of Science, MSC held a workshop on the chemical,
biological, and radiational security of the University of Basrah
Laboratories. The workshop extended through November 22th-
24th, 2015 and was held in the conference hall of the College of
Pharmacology. Prof. Dr. Shakir A. Ni’ma, the Scientific Deputy
of the Chancellor of the University of Basrah, has commenced the
workshop, which was attended by many researchers from the
University of Basrah interested in laboratory works.
The program of the workshop included the following lectures:
Security and safety in laboratories. Prof. Dr. Faris J. Al-Imarah,
MSC, University of Basrah.
Introduction to the practices of laboratory security. Prof.
Dr. Firdaws Abbas, Scientific Deputy of Al-Qadisiya
Introduction to the application of a secure laboratory.
Prof. Dr. Ammar K. Al-Ba’aj. College of Engineering,
University of Basrah.
Chemical waste disposal. Prof. Dr. Ali K. Abd Al-Hassan.
College of Science, University of Misan.
Chemicals: Purchasing and storage. Assist. Prof. Dr. Dawood
S. Hantoosh. College of Science, University of Basrah.
Applying the ethical pledge of chemists. Assist. Prof. Dr.
Ali H. Mtegi. MSC, University of Basrah.
Laboratory dangers: identification and assessment. Prof. Dr.
Hadi S. Al-Lami, College of Science, University of Basrah.
Letter of Compliment
Staff would like to extend the warmest congratulations for Dr.
Ali B. Mahmood, from the Department of Marine Physics, for
obtaining membership with the European Union of Geology. This
has involved hard work and highlights his expertise in the
MSC Researcher participates the 8th Conference of the Euro-Arab
Through October 19th- 22th, 2015, Prof. Dr. Faris J. Al-Imarah,
from the Department of Marine Chemistry, has participated in the
8th Conference of the Euro-Arab Organization held in Istanbul,
Turkey. Prof. Al-Imarah presented three papers and has received
approval to publish them in the scientific journals of the above
organization specialized in environment research.
The conference covered various subjects including environmental
pollution, agriculture in the Arab lands, protection of
archeological sites, environmental tourism and securing tourism
locations for proper investment.
MSC Researcher participates in the IUCN West Asia 8th Regional
Conservation Forum, Amman
Through November 10th- 11th, 2015, Prof. Dr. Talib A. Khalaf,
from the Department of Marine Biology, has participated in the
IUCN West Asia 8th Regional Conservation Forum held in Amman.
The forum was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of
Jordon Abdullah Al-Nasoor and attended by several Jordanian
official representatives. Prof. Khalaf presented the impact of
environmental changes in the Arabian Gulf, concentrating on
biodiversity of the north portion, including the Shatt Al-Arab
Delta and nearby rivers and marshes. Also, he discussed the
contribution of Iraqi water share which equals 100m3/per sec and
is necessary to sustain the Arabian Gulf biodiversity and high
productivity, a subject matter of high importance to all the
IUCN Expert Visits Hareer Station for Marsh Studies
their efforts to record the Iraqi marshes among the World
Heritage records, an expert from the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has visited the MSC Hareer Station
for Research located in the west marshes of Basrah. The guest
was accompanied by a delegation from Basrah Directorate of
Environment and Agriculture Engineer Alaa H. Al-Badran.
Training Course on Operational Oceanography Application
MSC Researcher, Assist. Lecturer Milad A. Hussain, from the
Department of Marine Sedimentology, will be delegated to Haider
Abad/ India through Dec.14th- 18th, 2015, to take part in a
training course on OTGA-INCOIS Marine Geography Information
System (GIS) for Operational Oceanography Application. The
training course will include a general perspective on the GIS
which incorporates geospatial services, oceanography and coastal
studies by using ArcGIS. The program includes data collection,
treatment, analyses, interpretation, and generating reliable
inputs for marine and coastal applications.
MSC obtains IODE
has gained membership in the International Oceanographic Data
and Information Exchange (IODE). Prof. Dr. Abd Al-Zahra AR.
Al-Hello, from the MSC Department of Marine Chemistry became the
national representative of this membership.
IODE is an UNESCO program aiming at promoting marine research
and investment and development in the maritime field. It works
on facilitating data and information exchange on the seas and
oceans of the member states to meet the needs of researchers in
A delegation from the Shell Petroleum Company visiting MSC
October 18th, 2015, a delegation from Shell Petroleum Company
managing Basrah Gas Company (BGC) has visited MSC. The
delegation has invited MSC members to participate Environment
Day activities which will be held by BGC on November 11th, 2015,
at the headquarters of Basrah Gas Company in Khor Al-Zubair.
The BGC delegation has requested MSC help raise awareness during
the festival on the environmental reality of Basrah. In
addition to the scientific participations, the MSC Society and
Culture Committee has received an invitation as well to
participate in the handicrafts exhibition that will take place
in the same occasion.
For the first Time, an MSC Researcher demonstrates the
relationship between the Salt Plug and Coral Reef
The PhD. Candidate, Walaa M. Al-Moussawi, from the MSC
Department of Marine Sedimentology, has defended his PhD thesis
entitled “Marine Geophysical Survey to Detect the Sea Bottom
Morphology and Coral Reefs within the Iraqi Marine Borders using
Side Scan Sonar and Sub Bottom Profiler Techniques”. The thesis
including several novel results, the most important of which
Registration of the salt plug in the Iraqi territorial
Determining the area size and location of Iraqi coral
MSC Researchers record a new type of fish in Sawa Lake
MSC researchers have succeeded in registering a new type of fish
(Acentragobins day) in Sawa lake (Samawa City, Central Iraq).
The researchers, namely Dr. Mustafa S. Fddag and Assist. Prof.
Mustafa A. Al-Mukhtar, from the MSC Department of Invertebrates,
have worked in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Laith AJ. Jawad, a
researcher specializing in the classification of fish from New
Zealand. The samples of the work were sent to the Natural
History Museum in the United States of America and the
researchers have published the results in a research paper in
Cambridge Scientific Research which is part of the Marine
Director General of MSC participates in the first meeting of
ROPME in Qatar
On Sept. 13th- 14th, 2015, Director General of MSC, Prof. Dr.
Ali AZ. Douabul, has participated in the first meeting of the
‘Scientific Committee of Cruising in the Arabic Gulf 2016’ in
Doha, Qatar. This comes as an invitation of the Regional
Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME)
for which the mentioned committee belongs.
Researcher participates in a Workshop on the Chemical Safety
Practices in the Iraqi Universities,
Prof. Dr. Ali H. Emtegi has participated in a workshop on the
Chemical Safety and Security Practices in Iraqi Universities
which was held in Istanbul, Turkey on Sept, 13th to 17th, 2015.
The workshop included:
The international standards and the development of chemical
safety and security in Iraq, basics of constructing the
managerial security framework in the Iraqi universities,
communication inside and outside Iraq, and best practices in
establishing cooperation in these fields;
Review of projects and information security issues and the
next steps in information security;
Topics on chemical procurement, storage, handling and use of
Topics on disposal of chemical waste and CATAP; and
The main recommendations which resulted out of the workshop
Finding committees and units specialized in chemical safety
and security in Iraq;
Finding a center in each Iraqi university specialized in
Finding chemical waste disposal methods;
Conducting continues workshops to raise awareness on the
importance of this topic;
Cooperating with other universities to exchange expertise in
this issue; and
Putting a schedule of work with a deadline to reach
An MSC researcher participates in the National Conference for
Reviving the Marshes
October 5th- 6th, 2015, Dr. Mustafa S. Fddag, from the
Department of Marine Invertebrates, participated in the National
Conference for Reviving the Marshes held by the Development
Center of Energy and Water and several NGOs in Al-Rasheed Hotel,
Baghdad. The conference was attended by the Prime Minister's
Advisor Dr. Mahdi Al-Allaq and Mr. Khalid Al-Asadi, a member of
the Iraqi Parliament as well as a number tribal leaders of
Dhi-Qar and Maysan Marshes.
The conference included lectures focusing on the causes of the
deterioration of the marsh environment and some of the proposed
solutions for restoration. Discussions concerning the Iraqi
efforts to register the marshes on the World Heritage List also
MSC researchers participate in the General Company for Iraqi
October 6th- 7th, 2015, a delegation of MSC researchers
Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Gillan,
Assis. Prof. Sadiq Salem, and
Assist. Lecturer Walaa’ M. al-Moussawi
participated in a conference held by the General Company of
Iraqi Ports in cooperation with the Japanese International
Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the Basra International Hotel to
discuss the development of the Iraqi ports within the Japanese
Loan Project. The organizing committee has shown interest in the
interventions and scientific views of the MSC researchers and
the recommendations suggested about the subject.
Installing a Weather
Monitoring Tower in the MSC Hareer Station for Research
As part of the scientific collaboration between MSC and the
Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology (which is merged
recently with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific
Research), a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed
to invest the national efforts and potentials and to strengthen
the bonds of cooperation between the Iraqi institutions. The MOU
aimed at implementing the comprehensive development and
sustainable plan by moving towards activating the areas of
scientific work and applied research and to take advantage of
the renewable energy and the environmentally friendly research,
especially in southern Iraq.
The work included installation of a continuous monitoring tower
of Basrah Meteorology in the MSC Hareer Station for Research.
The tower has variable heights (15m, 22m, 30m, and 50m) and was
installed with a sophisticated monitoring station and in
cooperation with the Renewable Energy Department of the Ministry
of Science and Technology. This kind of monitoring station is
located all over Iraq and is specialized in the measurement and
monitoring of temperature, wind speed and direction, solar
radiation, humidity and dust. It works automatically and on
solar energy through the information control centers.
According to Dr. Samer Adnan, Head of the MSC Marine Physics
Department, this tower will benefit the researchers interested
in the field of environment, climate and renewable energy.
MSC Researchers participate
in a Specialized Workshop about Salinity
A group of researchers from MSC
Prof. Dr. Abd Al-Zahra
Assist. Prof. Dr. Nouri AN. Nasser
Assist. Prof. Dr Hassan Khalil Hassan
Dr. Imad J. Shawi
Dr. Samer A. Rahma, and
Mr. Ali Wafiq
have taken part in the specialized workshop titled ‘Techniques
and Treatments of Basrah Water Problems’ which was organized by
the Engineers and Agricultural Engineers Committee in Basrah at
Al-Muhandiseen Hall, October 3rd, 2015. MSC
researchers have presented research papers reflecting the role
of MSC scientific departments in monitoring the status of Basrah
water quality and quantity, the problem of the Shatt Al-Arab
River salinization and the emergence of harmful species of algae
occurring recently in this river. Various discussions
taken place during the workshop covering the chemical and
hydrological concerns, the most effective solutions for reducing
water pollution and the provision of appropriate water for human
and agricultural uses in Basrah.
Field Trip to Al-Faw, Raas
Al-Bisha Border Area (Basrah)
Monday, Sept 21th, 2015, a scientific team from the MSC
Department of Marine Chemistry had a field trip to the Raas Al-Bisha
area (located in the city of Faw, South of Basrah) to collect
for the research papers entitled:
Geochemistry of heavy elements in the tidal flats of the
Iraqi coasts and its suitability for the cultivation of
Water quality and the assessment of the beach chemical
composition and their impact on the northwest waters of the
The scientific team included the following researchers
accompanied by a specialized team from the Iraqi Coast Guards to
secure the necessary protection during the work:
Assist. Prof. Dr. Amaal A. Mahmood.
Dr. Mu’aiyed H. Mohammed.
Assist. Lecturer Abd Al-Hussein A. Khuydim.
Salinity of Shatt Al-Arab:
An MSC Workshop
Due to the water crisis suffered by the residents of Basrah, MSC
held a workshop on the crisis of water salinity of Shatt Al-Arab
on Oct. 10th, 2015. The workshop was sponsored by the Chancellor
of the University of Basrah, Prof. Dr. Thamir A. Hamdan, and
was attended by many researchers, academic personnel,
consultants, as well as a delegation from the Irani Sanam
The workshop presented all aspects of the water crisis of the
governorate of Basrah. The reduction of the Shatt Al-Arab River
water flow, the increase of salinity and its spread in Faw
reaching the North parts of the Shatt Al-Arab stream have caused
Shatt Al-Arab River to be converted into a marine estuary (Khor),
a problem which has never been precedented.
The workshop concentrated upon the most applicable (immediate
and long-term) solutions to treat this crisis and its great
environmental impacts on the Shatt Al-Arab River and the
surrounding regions. Additionally, alternative treatments for
improving the drinking water of the Governorate of Basrah were
discussed, concluding with a list of recommendations presented
to the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
A Scientific Project
Suggested by an MSC Researcher Wins a Grant
As part of the Iraq University Linkages Program (IULP), a
scientific project suggested by two researchers from the
University of Basrah, namely Dr. Nadia A. Al-Mudhaffar, Head of
the MSC Department of Biological Development, and Prof. Dr.
Badir Al-Badran, from the College of Science, and one researcher
from the South Carolina University, has won a grant.
The project, which extends over a period of one year, aims at
building the capacity of the University of Basrah researchers,
and other universities, as well as members of the South Oil
Company and Basrah Environment Directorate.
The scope of the project lies in the success of environmental
solutions which reuse water generated from oilfield processes
and sewage treatment in benefiting natural and industrial
wetlands. The results of the study will be beneficial in the
current water scarcity situation. The project will be
implemented by conducting several field trips to similar
projects in the region and then by holding workshops at the MSC.
In support of this project, an industrial marsh will be
constructed for research and training purposes.
in a Crisis Cell for the Treatment of Red Tide in the Shatt
Dr. Noori Abd Al-Nabi, from the MSC Department of Aquaculture
and Fisheries and member in the Protection and Improvement of
Environment Committee/ Basrah Governorate, and Dr. Imad Al-Shawi,
from the Department of Marine Chemistry, have participated in an
urgently called meeting held by the Protection and Improvement
of Environment Committee in the Governorate of Basrah for
investigating causes of the red tide occurring lately in the
Shatt Al-Arab River. Samples collected from the Al-Bradhyia
Water Station. have shown harmful water algae: Dinophyceae which
belongs to the Gyrodinium family.
This kind of algae is usually uncommon in the waters and
sediments of the estuaries and salty waters (fresh waters
affected by the salinity of sea water) and marine environment.
It was recorded several years ago in the water and sediments of
North West part of the Arabian Gulf near Kuwait. Studies related
to the algae’s potential toxicity are ongoing.
MSC researchers have attributed the presence of this algae to
elevated temperatures and high salinity of the river water,
nutrient availability and suitable light. Several temporary and
permanent solutions were suggested by MSC representatives.
Immediate solutions included ceasing operation of water
treatment stations in the vicinity of the Red Tide occurrence,
restricting recreational water usage (such as swimming
practices), as well as dispersing the algae bloom away from the
water treatment stations. Awareness campaigns have been
implemented involving advertising banners.
Future solutions included identifying strategies to reduce the
discharge of organic pollutants into the Shatt Al-Arab River.
Salinity reduction strategies are to include increasing the
volume of fresh water releases during the periods in which Red
Tide is expected. Ongoing efforts will include rehabilitating
and protection of the water environment of Shatt Al-Arab River
and continuing awareness campaigns.
Participates in Toxic Algae Training Course in Iran
A representative of MSC, Dr. Imad Al-Shawi,
from the Department of Marine Chemistry, has participated in a
training course to identify and monitor the harmful algae Phyto
toxine. The course was held by the international Regional
Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME)
at the Institute of Marine Environment in Bandar Abbas City,
South of Iran, between Aug. 31st- Sept. 9th, 2015. Many
researchers and experts from Iran, UAE, Qatar, and Oman
participated in the training course which covered both
theoretical and practical lectures.
Thesis on Alburnus mossulensis
MSc. candidate Mrs. Layla Abbood Ufi, a member in the Department
of Aquaculture and Fisheries, has defended her thesis entitled
“Some Biological Aspects of the Bleak, Alburnus mossulensis, in
the Southern Reaches of Euphrates River, Iraq”. The thesis was
supervised by both Prof. Abd Al-Razzaq M. Muhammed and Dr. Basim
M. Jasim, from the College of Agriculture, University of Basrah.
The study included studying the nutrition and reproductive
systems of 2307 fish of the above mentioned type from Euphrates,
Al-Chibayish region, South of Iraq. The results have shown that
this type of fish depend primarily on insects in its feeding.
The value of the gonadosomatic index for males and females were
5.8 and 14.01 respectively in January.
Tissue sections of the male and female gonads have shown that
the period of spawning was during February.
An MSC laboratory accredited by the International Atomic Energy
The MSC Microbiology Analyses Laboratory was accredited by the
IAEA in testing the qualifications of laboratories in analyzing
trace elements. That comes as part of the regional project RAS
17025 which is designed by the Monaco Laboratories of the IAEA.
MSC Director General leads a meeting with RSK Group
MSC Director General, Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul, has led a
meeting with RSK Group, the British consultation company. The
meeting was attended by the Dean of the College of Engineering,
Prof. Dr. Rabee’a Th. Al-Abbasi, and the Dean of the College of
Oil and Gas, Dr. Mustafa Al-Fa’iz, University of Basrah. Several
discussions have taken place during the meeting including plans
to train members of the South Oil Company in collaboration
between the MSC and the Engineering Colleges in the University
of Basrah and the RSK Group.
The meeting parties agreed upon establishing a joint training
unit with the membership of the consulting bureau of the
University of Basrah and the RSK Group. The unit is to be
responsible for training about 6000 local workers in the Iraqi
oil sector. This number is only a first plan to be increased in
the future works of the unit.
MSC signs a
contract with Kuwait Energy
The Consulting Bureau of the MSC has signed a contract with the
Kuwait Energy Company which works in Iraq. The contract which
extends for one year includes the Block 9, located in the east
of Basrah governorate. The contract includes conducting
laboratory analyses of soil and air within the oil field and an
Environmental Impact Assessment. Air modelling will be conducted
to minimize risk of air quality deterioration.
Scientific evidence on a qualitative change in the density of
surface currents in the North Atlantic Ocean
PhD student: Basil Ali-Bologna
Recent scientific evidence suggest the changes in the quality of
the natural density of surface currents in the North Atlantic
Ocean. This is illustrated by the recently published photo
(taken on July 20th, 2015) of the distribution of densities
calculated by mathematical models for the rotation and the
movement of surface currents of the waters of the ocean by
researchers from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research
Kiel. In GEOMAR, researchers discovered that the current surface
coming from the equator toward the North Atlantic Ocean has
recorded a high-density different from previous recordings which
used to be regular and familiar. Researchers noted significant
changes in the recorded densities in terms of measurement. This
change is shown in red on the surface stream. It has reached the
middle of the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Europe and Canada. It
might be a high-salinity stream or thermal stream or an overlap
between all the variables. So far, there is no accurate
scientific proof justifying this phenomena, but researchers
believe there is something that is changing causing such an
event. The occurrence of this current with such great density is
a first in the history of the Atlantic Ocean which indicates a
change in the marine nature of the great oceans. Such issues
call for further studies and ongoing monitoring through modern
scientific means to find scientific and logical explanations.
The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
celebrates the graduation of an MSC visiting Researcher
In honor of Dr. Mu’ayed M. Al-Bahadli, the MSC PhD candidate,
who has recently completed his PhD study, the Rosenstiel School
of Marine and Atmospheric
Science/ University of Miami has celebrated this occasion by
displaying his portrait in one laboratory. Dr. Al-
Bahadli has spent six months of his PhD study at the mentioned
school under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Frank J. Millero.
Graduate Students of the University of Basrah apply in the MSC
A group of graduate students from the Biology Department in the
College of Science, University of Basrah, has started their
summer training in the MSC Department of Marine Biology. The
staff of the MSC Department of Marine Biology has given
different theoretical and practical lectures for the applicants
between July- August, 2015.
MSC Team installs Air Pollution Monitoring Stations
team from the MSC has succeeded in the deployment of air
pollution monitoring stations (diffusion tubes) within Block 9
of the Shatt Al-Arab region. This comes as a component of the
contract between the MSC Consulting Bureau and the Kuwait
Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul achieving top stats of Research
Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul, Director General of MSC, has achieved
the top stats in Research Gate Site for being the most viewed
and followed researcher among the environment researchers during
July 14th- 21th, 2015. He has received a congratulation email
from Research Gate team for this remarkable achievement.
Best regards and wishes for more achievements from MSC academic
MSC becomes a member in the International Union for Conservation
of Nature (IUCN): the world’s oldest and largest global
The Marine Science Centre (MSC) is delighted to announce that it
has been selected recently as a member of the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We are proud of
this recognition to our dedication and competence in the
protection and conservation of natural resources and
biodiversity, both within marine environments and terrestrially.
The MSC will be actively supporting IUCN in scientific research,
managing field projects and bringing together governments,
non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies
and local communities to develop and implement policy, laws and
Our work in Iraq gives us great insight into the balance and
sustainability of ecosystem resources particularly with respect
to the indigenous populations in Iraq. The management of natural
resources is ultimately integral to survival of much of the
population yet our ecosystem is uniquely vulnerable through
climate and aridity and with threatened species in what was once
extensive marshland teeming with flora and fauna. Although our
membership with IUCN may be new, our devotion to the IUCN vision
has been with us since our establishment in 1976. Clearly, we
are dedicated to the IUCN vision and look forward to this
affiliation with IUCN for future collaboration on the important
and essential work ahead.
invited to visit the IUCN and the MSC websites (www.iucn.org
www.mscbasra.org) to learn more about both institutes.
MSC registers the presence of sea devil fish (Manta
Ray) in the Iraqi coastal water
researcher attends ROPME regular meeting
In their first research cruise (Towards the Gulf 1st) onboard
Naseem Al-Basrah Vessel which extended from May 30th to June
7th, 2015, MSC researches, together with the German diving team
from Freiberg University, have obsreved the presence of the sea
devil fish (Manta Ray) in the Iraqi coastal water.
This is a spectacular finding since this fish has not been
previously encountered in the region. This species might be
‘Manta alfredi’ which differs from the giant ocean devil fish
birostris’. However, these two species are the largest of
the ray family named Mobulidae and the largest ray fish
in the world.
Prof. Dr. Aadil Al-Handhal, from the Department of Marine
Biology, has attended the regular meeting of the Regional
Organization for Protecting the Marine Environment (ROPME). The
meeting was organized in Kuwait under the title ‘Experts meet on
Land Based Activities’.
The main objectives of the Meeting were to prepare a Workplan
with timetable to carry out the “Survey of Municipal Wastewater
in the Region” as well as to recommend priority programme
activities for LBA at the National and Regional levels which are
to be in line with the core Partnership areas of Wastewater and
Nutrients Management of UNEP-GPA and the Global Wastewater
The Meeting was attended by Experts from the ROPME Member
States, UNEP, ROPME Consultant and the Professional Staff of
ROPME. Prof. Al-Handal presented the Iraqi work plan on
land-based activities particularly in the region from Baghdad to
the Iraqi coasts. He has highlighted the local efforts in
treating municipal water and the efficiency of wastewater
treatment plants as well as presenting Iraqi environmental
legislations for protecting the local environment such as law
No. 27, 2009. At the end of the meeting, different
recommendations and suggestion concerning enhancing the
protection of coastal environment were concluded.
MSC team visiting the Large Faw Port Wave Breaker
A Workshop for laboratory supervisors in Turkey
Along with the MSC efforts in
building collaboration with local institutes and contributing to
their various projects within the marine filed, a scientific
team has visited the site of the Iraqi General Port Company and
met chief engineer Asaad A. Rashid, director of the Large Faw
Port Project. The team included:
Prof. Dr. Abd Al-Karim
Dr. Ali Ahmed
Hazim Abdel Hafez Sayyab
Several meetings were held with the chief engineer where MSC
team offered providing scientific support for companies
operating in this giant project. MSC team has also discussed
several issues with the representative of the Italian company
who designed the project. It was agreed that:
Companies operating in the Large Faw Port project have to
provide clear signs around the recently discovered coral reefs
in the Iraqi coastal water. This is for the purpose of ensuring
the required protection against external influences including
accumulation of silt deposition in the work zone.
Collaborating with MSC to study the proposal of establishing an
island in the east side of the eastern wave breaker.
Collaborating with MSC in studying the basic design of the port
Maintaining these field visits to benefit the progress of work
and to have exchange of experiences
Dr. Ali Hussein Amteghi, from the MSC’s Department of
Environmental Chemistry, has participated in a workshop
conducted in Turkey for laboratory supervisors. The workshop
were held between May 25th and 27th, 2015, and included an
introduction to chemical security, dual-use information,
information security, scientific ethics, safe lab practices and
fighting chemical terrorism with an introduction to training of
Physical and Chemical Aspects in the Arabian Gulf: A Ph.D
Adsorption and Extract of Ethanol from Aqueous Medium: A Seminar
On June 15th, 2015, Mr. Muaiyed
Muhammed Al-Bahadli, of the Dept of Environmental Chemistry, has
defended his dissertation entitled ‘Physical and Chemical
Aspects of the Arabian Gulf’.
The dissertation was supervised by Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul,
General Director of the MSC and the defence has taken place in
the College of Education, University of Basrah.
The researcher has studied
the distribution of nutrients and some other chemical and
physical factors prevailing in the Arabian Gulf and the Oman Sea
at various depths during summer 2001and winter 2006. Salinity,
dissolved oxygen, electric conductivity, temperature and water
density have been investigated. Flora and fauna have also been
studied such as phytoplankton, zooplankton and chlorophyll which
are effected by variations in nutrient distribution and other
On Monday, May 15th, 2015, Assistant Lecturer Mazin Abd
Al-Hussein, of the Department of Environmental Chemistry, has
given a seminar entitled ‘Adsorption and Extract of Ethanol from
aqueous medium using commercial adsorbent’.
Mazin tackled the global warming issue which has increased
lately and exhibited the alternative fuel as a solution for
minimizing this phenomenon. Works on fuel production from plants
have increased in the last few decades to be an alternative or a
reducer to the use of fossil fuels. Ethanol produced from plants
by fermentation constitute only 10% of the total outcome and the
processes of purifying it from water is rather costly.
During his lecture, the researcher pointed out the
effectiveness of his study, which focused on the process of
adsorption to separate ethanol and assessing its effectiveness
and economic outcome. As a result, he found it an efficient
process whereas the concentration of ethanol increased from 0%
to 50% within low cost and under identified conditions.
The Fifth Aquaculture
plants Mangrove trees on the Iraqi Coasts
Under the patronage of the MSC General Director, Prof. Dr. Ali
AZ. Douabul, the Fifth Aquaculture Forum was held on Thursday,
April 30th, 2015 in Al-Hareer Station for Marsh Research. The
forum was organized by the MSC's Department of Aquaculture and
Fisheries in collaboration with Al-Ahwar Company for Fish
Production and Marketing.
Themes of the
Fisheries in Basrah.
the most appropriate fish food.
and obstacles facing aquaculture and fisheries in Basrah.
Discussions of the forum were fruitful and considered conducting
researchs that tackle the main problems faced by fish farmers.
The participants emphasized on getting information on fish
health to prevent the spread of disease in fish farms and
encouraged optimal use in the field of fish feeding to increase
fish growth and reduce death.
MSC delegation has visited Iran to collect seedlings of mangrove
trees in order to plant on the marine coastal line of Iraq. Five
seedlings were successfully planted in the Iraqi coastal
waters under the same environmental conditions of the
This achievement was done with special efforts of Prof. Talib A.
Khalaf and under supervision of General
Director of the MSC.
A new record of six species and two isolates of Rotifers
General Director of the Maritime Inspection Department visiting
Researcher Hala F. Hassan, from the MSC's Department of
Biological Development, has classified rotifers in Shatt Al-Arab
River and South West Arabian Gulf, using molecular techniques
such as DNA extraction, PCR ,RFLP, RAPD PCR and Sequencing. Ms.
Hala was able to record two isolates of rotifers belonging to
Brachionus. This record, which is the first of its kind
globally, is registered now by the researcher in the National
Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the American gene
bank, the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) and the DNA Data
Bank of Japan (DDBJ). The researcher was also able to record
six species of rotifers, as new records in Iraq. These findings
were published in Marsh Bulletin issued by the College of
Science, University of Basrah.
Mr. Abd Al-Khaliq Jameel Nasir, General Director of the Maritime
Inspection Department, has visited the MSC and met with MSC
General Director, Prof. Ali AZ. Douabul. Discussions focused on
scientific collaboration on “Towards the Gulf”, the first
research cruise of Naseem Al-Basrah vessel.
Mr. Nasir has shown full readiness for taking part in that
cruise and for training MSC members on using oil spills
combating ships. In addition, Mr Nasir agreed on participation
of Siba 1, an oil spill combating vessel in the cruise to
demonstrate oil spill treatment in the Iraqi coastal water.
Preparations for "Towards the Gulf", the first research cruise
of Naseem Al-Basrah vessel
MSC researchers visiting Khorramshahr University, Iran
Installing an air point, a monitoring station for air quality
and pollution, on Naseem Al-Basrah vessel.
Technical and scientific coordination with the Directorate of
Protection and Improvement of the South Region Environment.
As part of MSC preparations for Towards the Gulf, the first
research cruise of Naseem Al-Basrah vessel, a delegation from
MSC has visited Khorramshahr University in Iran on May 23rd,
2015. Necessary preparations for the cruise have been discussed
during the visit which lasted for one day.
The MSC delegation included:
Prof. Dr. Talib A. Khalaf
Dr. Usama Q. Khaleefa
Dr. Samir A. Rahma
Dr. Mustafa S. Faddagh
Captain Hussain Gh. Khaleefa
A Delegation from Water Resources Directorate visits MSC
Analysis of Water Quality: 2015 Published Book
On May 21st, 2015, a meeting has been held between a group of
MSC researchers headed by General Director, Prof. Dr. Ali AZ.
Douabul, and delegations from the Directorates of Water
Resources and Operating Irrigation and Drainage Projects.
Participants discussed issues of reduced water discharge from
Tigris and Shatt Al-Arab River and salinization problems during
the last years. At the end of the meeting, participants agreed
upon holding future similar meetings to follow the progress on
this subject and diagnosing the hydrological conditions in Shatt
As a joint author with Professor Jasim H. Abdulla, assistant
professor Dr. Wisal F. Hassan, of the Department of Marine
Chemistry, published a book entitled ‘Analysis of Water
Quality’. The book tackles water quality along the course of
Shatt Al-Arab River and its salinity issues..The book is
originally an MSc thesis for the Dr Wisal and it has been
published in collaboration with Queensland University,
Phytoplankton Training Course
MSC participates in Water Controlling and Management in Fair
During May 10th through 12th, 2015, a training course on
phytoplankton in the Iraqi inland and marine waters was held by
two experts from the MSC, namely Prof. Dr. Talib A. Khalaf and
Dr. Imad Al-Shawi. The course was carried out in the
laboratories of the Basrah Environment Directorate. Syllabus
included theoretical and practical lectures on identifying
phytoplankton and zooplankton. In addition, methods of diagnosis
and microscopic photography were introduced.
The course was organized in response to an invitation from
Basrah Environment Directorate and the Environmental Department
in the South Oil Company to train some of their employees on
phytoplankton identification methods. Thirteen trainee attended
Dr. Faiq Al-Mansoori, from the Department of Marine Geology, has
participated in the Water Controlling and Management in Fair
Basis Conference which was held in Sharm Al-Shaikh, Egypt during
May 11th through 15th, 2015. The event was organized by
International Union for Conservation of Nature (Regional Office
for West Asia-ROWA) in collaboration with Stockholm
International Water Institute (SIWI).
Dr. Al-Mansoori has highlighted the work and research of the MSC
in Southern Iraq and North- West Arabian Gulf. In addition to
the main sessions of the conference, he has participated in the
round-table discussions and introduced several suggestions
a. Setting a plan for studying Shatt Al-Arab River delta to
be included in ROWA future plan 2017- 2020.
b. Considering the region of the Mesopotamian Marshes and
Shatt Al-Arab River delta within the protected areas for their
high environmental senility.
c. Giving MSC a role in writing about the environment of the
MSC region to be included in the international report issued by
Treatment of Oil Emulsions: Thesis
Farming of Acanthopagruslatus in Basrah: Dissertation
On Monday, may 25th, 2015, Mr Ahmad Majeed Zedan of the MSC's
Department of Marine Chemistry defended his thesis entitled "
Preparation and diagnosis of some anabolic substances for twin
surfaces and studying its applications as dispersed and
emulsification refracting materials and using it in the
treatment of oil accidents".
His study aimed at using new procedures for getting anabolic
substances for surfaces derived from Epichlorohydrin and
connecting them together using an appropriate connector to get
twin surfaces emulsions using multiple chemical analyses. These
compounds may be utilized in oil spots in the marine
PhD candidate, Nawras AG. Abd Al-Zahra, a member in the MSC
Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries has defended his thesis
entitled 'Farming of Acanthopagruslatus in Basrah in different
densities and feeding rates in three farming systems'. The three
systems studied were soil ponds, concrete tanks with flowing
water and floating cages. The dissertation included studying the
impact of farming densities on growth indicators and
productivity, the impact of feeding levels on growth rates and
feeding conversion in different systems.
The study proved the possibility of farming Acanthopagruslatus
under detention conditions with high survival rates in spite of
the environmental changes in the area under study. The best
growth has been achieved with relatively high temperatures.