Pakistani & Chinese Scientists to Start Joint Expedition in the Arabian Sea

China and Pakistan’s scientists have joined hands to conduct the first ever Joint Oceanographic Expedition in Makran offshore area. Scientists of National Institute of Oceanographic (NIO) Pakistan and South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO) are participating in this expedition.

This was announced by Director General NIO Dr. Asif Inam while talking to ProPakistani in a get-together organized to honor the Chinese delegation at a hotel in Karachi.

Chinese delegation is led by Deputy Director General, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology Prof. Jian Lin. The Secretary, Ministry of Science & Technology, Mrs. Yasmeen Masood  and Representatives from several national Institutions, Pakistan Navy, the Captain and crew of the Shiyan 3 and participating science party were present on the occasion.

Dr. Asif told that this expedition is a major breakthrough in advancement of oceanographic research in the the Arabian Sea. The expedition is expected to promote cooperation on marine science and technology for coastal and marine environment and ecosystem protection as well as the sustainable development of the coastal and ocean resources.

“Arabian Sea is considered as a laboratory for marine researchers as there are number of features that make the Arabian Sea a unique place to undertake scientific research and to improve our understanding about seismicity due to the interaction of three tectonics plates just southwest of Karachi, impact of monsoonal reversal system on biological productivity, substantial change in sedimentation pattern i.e a shift from fluvial to aeolian contribution.” Dr. Asif told ProPakistani

DG Dr.Asif, expanding on the history of collaboration between oceanographic institutions of China and Pakistan, informed the gathering that NIO scientists had participated in Chinese expedition to Antarctica and Chinese Expedition to South Indian Ocean, but this was the first time the two countries were conducting geological, geophysical and oceanographic surveys in the Arabian Sea.

“Two main areas of this expedition focused on improving understanding regarding the seismicity of the Arabian Sea and the assessment of gas hydrate potential along the Makran coast. And how, these two main aspects of expedition would be beneficial to the people of Pakistan, help towards mitigation plans for disaster management and socio-economic development of Pakistan,” Dr. Asif added.

Prof. Jian Lin told ProPakistani that both sides started working on this expedition four months ago.

Jian Lin said that there will be 80 scientists and crew members on board at Shiyan 3, including 8 Pakistani members. This Chinese ship will be house Pakistani and Chinese scientists for the next 3 weeks.

As a follow up of this expedition, SCSIO and NIO have plans to organize a Joint scientific conference during first week of February 2018 to share preliminary results with the scientific community, academia and oil/gas industry.