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MSC establishes the Marine Data Bank (MDB)


An 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 public interest. 

Meanwhile, the MDB staff is working on constructing a special website under the address http://www.mdbmscbasra.org that will be published soon. 

 

The Chancellor of the University of Basrah visits MSC

The 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.

Kuwait Consul in Basrah visits the MSC Shatt Al-Arab Marine Station

A 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.

National Geographic visits MSC

Mr. 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 members.

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 voyage.

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 in Jordon

The 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 the workshop. 

MSC Researchers Participate in the Babylon Conference on Environment Sciences

A 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:

1. Dr. Nouri AN. Nasir

2. Dr. Kadhim H. Yunis

3. Mr. Abbas J. Toman

4. Mr. Ahmed Ch. Jabbar

5. Mr. Ghassan A. Kamil

 MSC Researchers Participate in the Second International Conference on Biology

Prof. 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

 Under 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:

Day 1:

  1. Security and safety in laboratories. Prof. Dr. Faris J. Al-Imarah, MSC, University of Basrah.

  2. Introduction to the practices of laboratory security. Prof. Dr. Firdaws Abbas, Scientific Deputy of Al-Qadisiya University Chancellor. 

  3. Introduction to the application of a secure laboratory. Prof. Dr. Ammar K. Al-Ba’aj. College of Engineering, University of Basrah.

Day 2:

  1. Chemical waste disposal. Prof. Dr. Ali K. Abd Al-Hassan. College of Science, University of Misan.

  2. Chemicals: Purchasing and storage. Assist. Prof. Dr. Dawood S. Hantoosh. College of Science, University of Basrah. 

Day 3:

  1. Applying the ethical pledge of chemists. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ali H. Mtegi. MSC, University of Basrah. 

  2. Laboratory dangers: identification and assessment. Prof. Dr. Hadi S. Al-Lami, College of Science, University of Basrah.

Letter of Compliment

MSC 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 field.   

MSC Researcher participates the 8th Conference of the Euro-Arab Organization

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 Gulf countries.

 

IUCN Expert Visits Hareer Station for Marsh Studies

In 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 membership

MSC 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 this field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A delegation from the Shell Petroleum Company visiting MSC

On 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 are:

  1. Registration of the salt plug in the Iraqi territorial borders.

  2. Determining the area size and location of Iraqi coral reefs. 

MSC Researchers record a new type of fish in Sawa Lake

Two 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 Biodiversity Records.

 

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.

 

MSC Researcher participates in a Workshop on the Chemical Safety Practices in the Iraqi Universities, Turkey

Assistant 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 chemicals;

  • Topics on disposal of chemical waste and CATAP; and

  • Chemical Ethics.

The main recommendations which resulted out of the workshop were:

  • Finding committees and units specialized in chemical safety and security in Iraq;

  • Finding a center in each Iraqi university specialized in this issue;

  • 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 effective results.

An MSC researcher participates in the National Conference for Reviving the Marshes

On 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 occurred.

 

MSC researchers participate in the General Company for Iraqi Ports Conference

On October 6th- 7th, 2015, a delegation of MSC researchers including:

  • 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 including

·         Prof. Dr. Abd Al-Zahra AR. Al-Hello

·         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 have 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)

On 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 sediment samples for the research papers entitled:

1.    Geochemistry of heavy elements in the tidal flats of the Iraqi coasts and its suitability for the cultivation of Mangrove.

2.    Water quality and the assessment of the beach chemical composition and their impact on the northwest waters of the Arabian Gulf.

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 Company.

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.

 

 MSC Participates in a Crisis Cell for the Treatment of Red Tide in the Shatt Al-Arab River

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.

 

  MSC 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.

 

 

 

MSc.  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 Agency (IAEA)

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

By 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

A scientific 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 Energy Company

 

Prof. Dr. Ali AZ. Douabul  achieving top stats of Research Gate

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 members.

 

MSC becomes a member in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization

 

 

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 best practice.

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.

You are invited to visit the IUCN and the MSC websites (www.iucn.org and www.mscbasra.org) to learn more about both institutes.

 

MSC  registers  the  presence  of  sea  devil  fish  (Manta  Ray) in  the  Iraqi  coastal  water

MSC 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 ‘Manta 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 Initiative.

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 Hamzah Gillan

·         Dr. Ali Ahmed Ghani

·         Assist. Prof. 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:

1.  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.

2.  Collaborating with MSC to study the proposal of establishing an island in the east side of the eastern wave breaker.

3.  Collaborating with MSC in studying the basic design of the port new city.

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 trainers.

Physical and Chemical Aspects in the Arabian Gulf: A Ph.D Dissertation

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 environmental parameters.

 

 

 

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’. 

 

 

 

 Mr. 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 Forum 2015

MSC 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 forum were:

  • Developing Fisheries in Basrah.

  • Producing the most appropriate fish food.

  • Problems 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.

 

An 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 tree.

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 MSC

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.

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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:

1.    Prof. Dr. Talib A. Khalaf

2.    Dr. Usama Q. Khaleefa

3.    Dr. Samir A. Rahma

4.    Dr. Mustafa S. Faddagh

5.    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 Al-Arab River.

 

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, Australia.

 

Phytoplankton Training Course

MSC participates in Water Controlling and Management in Fair Basis Conference

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 the course.

 

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 including:

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 ROWA.

 

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 environment.

 

The 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.