Nigeria and China have embarked on a major marine research.
The Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), in collaboration with the Second Institute for Oceanography, Hangzhou, China, have successfully conducted a marine scientific research cruise in the Nigerian continental shelf.
The joint cruise between the NIOMR and the Chinese Institute has been described as the first of its kind between an African country and the Chinese Government.
Both Nigerian and Chinese scientists returned from a nine-day expedition into the Western Nigerian continental shelf on Wednesday, on board the ship, “R.V. Dayangyihao’’.
Larry Awosika, a NIOMR scientist who led the Nigerian delegation, said that the research was undertaken to a depth of 4,500 metres, using sophisticated equipment.
He disclosed that seven research scientists from NIOMR, two Nigerian Navy hydrographers and 30 scientists from the First, Second and Third Institutes of Oceanography in China went on the nine-day cruise.
“The areas of collaboration would include: marine scientific research and survey, climate change and sea level rise, integrated coastal zone management and related research and training.
“Other areas are: ocean disaster reduction, satellite and remote sensing, marine information and data exchange, ocean energy exploration and research,’’ Mr. Awosika, a professor of Marine Geology, said.
He said that during the cruise, the Nigerian and Chinese scientists undertook extensive and intensive data collection on geological, geophysical, physical, chemical and biological oceanography.
In a message, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina, said it was gratifying that the two countries consider marine scientific research a top priority for knowledge generation and sharing.
Mr. Adesina, who was represented by the Acting Executive Director, NIOMR, Emmanuel Ajao, said that marine scientific research was also an innovation in the development of the Nigerian ocean space.
“This exercise will promote and strengthen the existing friendly relations between our two countries, leading to closer partnership collaboration between marine institutions and personnel in both countries.
“It will add value to our understanding and enhance our capacity for harnessing and exploiting the renewable and non-renewable resources in our waters,’’ he said.
Under the collaboration, the two countries have agreed to collect and exchange experimental data, scientific information, and jointly analyse the samples in Nigeria and in China.
They also plan to exchange scientists, scholars and specialist teams.