Russian research/survey vessel Akademik Oparin has arrived in Vietnam to conduct a marine biodiversity survey, especially off the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands.
The ship, owned by the Russian Academy of Science, docked at the south-central town of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province on April 29 and started its survey mission on May 2. The mission will last until June 8.
The scientific study of Vietnamese waters is part of a joint study between the Nha Trang Technology Research and Application Institute and the Russian Academy of Science’s Far Eastern Division.
Twenty-two Russian scientists and 12 Vietnamese counterparts will work together on the study. The ship is manned by 32 crew members.
It is the fourth time that Vietnamese and Russian scientists are conducting a joint study of Vietnamese marine life with this ship. Its previous trips were made in 2005, 2007 and 2010.
This time, the scientists aim to carry out a comprehensive survey of the biodiversity and biochemistry of Vietnamese waters, including coral reef systems, and collection and identification of seaweed species as well as marine creatures and microorganisms.
They will particularly focus on the waters off the Truong Sa Islands in Khanh Hoa Province. Based on the results of the research on the coral reefs and marine life in the area, Vietnamese authorities will consider measures for sustainable exploitation of sea resources and for the construction of marine reserves and tourism facilities.
In another major activity undertaken by foreign ships in Vietnam, the Lewis and Clark-class cargo ship of the US Navy docked at the Cam Ranh Port in central Vietnam on May 1 for repairs under a contract with the Cam Ranh Shipbuilding Company – an affiliate of the state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin.
Repairs on Amelia Earhart are scheduled to take two weeks.