Marine research on the Red Sea will be more serious, thanks to new ship.
With pirates, environmental pollution, increasing water traffic and a collapse of coral reefs, a new research ship with its course set for the Red Sea port of Eilat is good news for us to hear. According to Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the university dedicated a new $1.3 million research ship at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat.
Purchase and outfitting of the new ship was financed by Israel’s Council for Higher Education, the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Weizmann Institute of Science and private donors.
Prof. Aaron Kaplan of the Hebrew University, the head of the Interuniversity Institute, said that “over the years the institute rented various vessels for teaching and research purposes, but never was able to find one that was totally suitable. Now we have been able to realize a dream of many years. The fact that we now have a suitable ship will greatly advance marine research in Israel.”
Kaplan noted that marine research has acquired increased attention in recent years due to new scientific approaches and the increased use of marine biological models for medical research, including research on cancer. This, in turn, has brought more financial resources to be invested in the field.
“The new ship will make it possible to advance research on the unique organisms which are found in the Gulf of Eilat and also in the ocean itself,” said Prof. Kaplan. “The technology on the ship will also make it possible to further the monitoring of the gulf and the development of means to cope with possible crises such as an oil spill,” he said.
Participating in the ship dedication ceremony in Eilat were Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi, representatives of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, scientists and guests from Israel and abroad.
As far as we know Jordan, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt — all bordering the Red Sea –– have no such resource. It is expected that Jordanian scientists working covertly through the IUI in Eilat, will also benefit from the research ship. It’s not the only one Israel boasts: EcoOcean‘s ship the Mediterranean Explorer is docked in Herzylia and covers the Mediterranean Sea, with the odd voyage to the Red Sea for special missions.
More on marine education and pollution:
EcoOcean Opens New Land-Based Education Center Megalim
Monitoring Stations Installed in Qatar and UAE to Track Stressed Out Coral
Iran Battles Red Tide, A Soap-like Super Foam That’s Killing Fish
Jordan Authorities To Flag and Key Red Sea Green Beach Project
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