People, Environment

DOE Mapping Sensitive Marine Ecosystems

DOE Mapping Sensitive Marine EcosystemsDOE Mapping Sensitive Marine Ecosystems

The Department of Environment will soon start mapping sensitive ecosystems in marine areas in the Oman Sea, Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf to create a nautical chart by the end of the current Iranian year (ends March 20, 2017).

A nautical chart is a graphic representation of a maritime area and adjacent coastal regions. Depending on the scale of the chart, it may show depths of water and heights of land (topographic map), natural features of the seabed, details of the coastline, navigational hazards, locations of natural and manmade aids to navigation, information on tides and currents, local details of the Earth’s magnetic field, and manmade structures such as harbors, buildings and bridges.

The scheme was supposed to be implemented during the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2011-16), but it never materialized because it was never followed through, MANA News Agency quoted Davoud Mirshekar, director of Marine Ecosystems at the DOE, as saying.

“A preliminary database has been set up by combining earlier studies to create more complete pictures of the country’s coastal and marine ecosystems. The department’s ongoing research will help fill the gaps in previous studies and complete the database, which is the first phase of the scheme,” Mirshekar said.

This next phase includes field studies and surveillance of underwater habitats, which require special equipment that are not cheap.

“The second phase needs around $280,000, which the department will shoulder,” the official said, adding that the second stage starts next month.

Mirshekar stressed that the charts will have a profound impact on the DOE’s marine conservation programs and the government’s stated goal of developing coastal areas.