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Oyster Test

Date of publication: 23 June 2021

Oysters and mussels will be a new important part of a regularly conducted seawater environmental monitoring. Shellfish will serve as bioindicators of potential environment pollution. It was Chernomortransneft’s specialists who opted for the most unbiased natural control. They supervised the setup of a new test ground of hydrobionts at the port of Novorossiysk.

The Black Sea project developed by the Environmental Safety and Rational Nature Management Laboratory of Transneft R&D is the third phase of Transneft’s environment monitoring programme for the water areas in the regions of Transneft terminals’ operation. The first and second test grounds were set up at seaports in the Sea of Japan and the Gulf of Finland. A qualified company has been contracted to install hydro-biotechnical facilities in the port of Novorossiysk. An area of the sea adjacent to the oil terminals was picked to create a biological lab. According to the developers, a suitable place was picked in terms of environmental requirements and shellfish alimentation with active water exchange, abundant with oxygen and an environment rich in phytoplankton.

The test ground implementation process is somewhat akin to an oyster farm setup. Divers fastened two test benches at the depth of six to nine meters, having placed plastic basket-like cages for shellfish breeding. 300 oysters and 900 mussels have been selected for a marine test site on the Bolshoy and Maly Utrish capes in Anapa District, with mussels placed in 30 special basket-like cages for shellfish alimentation. A wire substrate will be strained to grow green and brown algae.

Seawater from this area is examined once a quarter for possible content of petroleum products, iron ions, nitrates or nitrites. The area of deep-water runoff from the treatment plans of the Sheskharis crude oil loading facility, dumping industrial and utility water, is under meticulous scrutiny of ecologists from Chernomortransneft.

Why do marine inhabitants have such value for ecologists? The point is that shellfish filter a lot of water as they procure food. Oysters and mussels are sensitive to the slightest contamination of water. Therefore, the shellfish will serve as a new credible indicator of potential water area pollution.  The Company’s lab specialists will do regular respective tests in addition to the investigation already under way.

“We place a major emphasis on environment conservation and compliance with the requirements of the environmental legislation,” comments Head of the Environmental Safety and Rational Nature Management Section at Chernomortransneft Galina Chezganova. “There are treatment plants in the territory of the Sheskharis transshipment facility for industrial and rainwater runoff amounting to two million cubic meters per year. The effluent treatment quality meets the commercial fishing standards. Nevertheless, to prove the lack of any negative environmental footprint, particularly in the Tsemes Bay water area, the company has decided to conduct additional biotesting of the water body.

Nature itself is now guarding the environmental safety.

“We’ll draw samples to test them for pollutants alimentation - petroleum products and those groups of substances which are rated for the discharge of treated effluents,” says Lead Researcher from the Environmental Safety and Rational Nature Management Laboratory of Transneft R&D Maksim Rodkin.

The biomaterial intake will be carried out twice a year. Chernomortransneft intends to submit the results of its investigations to the Novorossiysk city administration and to the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage, in addition to publishing them on its official website большое внимание охране окружающей среды и соблюдению требований природоохранного законодательства, - комментирует начальник отдела экологической безопасности и рационального природопользования АО "Черномортранснефть" Галина Чезганова. - На территории перевалочного комплекса "Шесхарис" есть очистные сооружения производственно-дождевых сточных вод, объем сброса в год составляет два миллиона кубометров. Качество очистки соответствует нормативам рыбохозяйственного значения. Тем не менее для подтверждения отсутствия негативного воздействия на окружающую среду, в частности на акваторию Цемесской бухты, компанией принято решение о проведении дополнительного биотестирования водного объекта.

Теперь на страже экологии - сама природа.

- Мы будем отбирать пробы на содержание загрязняющих веществ - нефтепродуктов и тех групп веществ, которые нормируются при сбросе очищенных сточных вод, - рассказывает ведущий научный сотрудник лаборатории экологии и рационального природопользования ООО "НИИ Транснефть" Максим Родькин.

Забор биоматериала будет производиться дважды в год. Результаты проводимых исследований АО "Черномортранснефть" намерено передавать в администрацию города Новороссийска и Росприроднадзор, а также публиковать на своем официальном сайте.

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