The Marine Research Center of Moscow State University has completed an expedition to study the ecological situation of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The studies were performed by order of the State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom". Scientists for the first time analyzed the state of the NSR as a single infrastructure object of the Kara, East Siberian and Chukchi Seas, as well as the Laptev Sea. The ship was provided by the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Hydrographic Enterprise".
"Hydrographic Enterprise" intends to continue to help scientists in performing systematic work to assess the ecology in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. Everything shall be done to ensure that the active development of the Northern Sea Route is environmentally safe,” commented Alexander Bengert, general director of the Hydrographic Enterprise.
During the field work, the employees of the Moscow State University Center for Nuclear Research worked at 50 stations along the entire Northern Sea Route, taking samples of water, air and hydrobionts, studying bottom sediments and benthic communities. Marine mammals and avifauna were also observed. In addition, researchers have identified pollution of the water area with large debris and microplastics.
According to scientists, samples obtained during the expedition will continue to be studied in stationary laboratories, and cartographers will compile materials for visual interpretation of spatial data. The research results will become the basis for the development of the Program for regular environmental monitoring of the NSR.
“The data obtained during work will help develop new approaches to the protection of the environment and biodiversity of the Arctic, develop principles for assessing the impact of shipping on the environment, propose a set of measures for its protection in the context of the rapid development of shipping along the Northern Sea Route, that is, to develop a new direction global logistics is sustainable and safe,” said Vladimir Panov, special representative of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom for the development of the Arctic.