KARACHI: First China-Pakistan joint oceanographic expedition in Makran offshore (Balochistan) area will commence on Saturday, January 13, and will continue for next 25 days.
This is a major breakthrough in the advancement of oceanographic research in the Arabian sea, said a press release issued by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) on Friday.
The expedition is expected to promote cooperation in marine science and technology for coastal and marine environmental and ecosystem protection as well as the sustainable development of the coastal and ocean resources.
The Arabian sea is considered as a laboratory for marine researchers as there a number of features that make it a unique place to undertake scientific research and to improve the understanding about seismicity. This is largely because of the interaction of three tectonic plates just southwest of Karachi, the impact of monsoonal reversal system on biological productivity and substantial change in sedimentation pattern.
NIO Director General (DG) Dr Asif Inam from Pakistan and South China Sea Institute of Oceanography (SCSIO) Deputy Director General, Professor Jian Lin, explained the significance of this endeavour.
DG NIO, highlighting the history of collaboration between oceanography institutions of Pakistan and China, informed that NIO scientists had participated in the Chinese expedition to Antarctica and Chinese expedition to Southern Indian Ocean. But, he added, this was the first time that two countries were conducting geological, geophysical and oceanographic surveys in the Arabian sea together.
He explained that the two main areas of the expedition are to have a better understanding regarding the seismicity of the Arabian sea and the assessment of gas hydrate potential along with Makran coast.
He added that we are working on these two aspects to formulate mitigation plans as part of disaster management and to find new avenues for socioeconomic development respectively.
Ministry of Science and Technology Federal Secretary, Ms Yasmeen Masood, appreciated the efforts of the leadership of both the sides and spoke on how the maritime sector and oceanography could contribute towards the progress of our country. The messages from the ministers of both the countries were read by the DG NIO and Deputy DG SCSIO.
Later, it was announced that NIO and SCSIO have plans to organize a joint scientific conference during the first week of February 2018 to share the preliminary results of the expedition with the scientific community, academia and oil and gas industry.