Environmental supervision on-board and biological analyses for exploratory offshore drilling operations in Block 8 – Eratosthenes main prospect area, EEZ Cyprus

ca 4 months (March 2019 – June 2019)

Funded by:
ENI Cyprus Ltd.

Subcontracted by the joint venture:
Nicolaides & Associates Ltd
Pro Iter Ambiente S.r.l.
TEA Sistemi S.p.A.

Project Description:

In March 2019, seven zooplankton samples were collected with vertical tows of a plankton net (diameter: 50 cm, porosity: 200 μm), from 250 m to the surface in seven pre-determined locations in Eratosthenes main prospect area. Zooplankton identification and enumeration of samples collected was completed in June 2019 and the data processing revealed a total number of 60 taxa. At the same time, seven phytoplankton samples were collected at a sampling depth of 1 m from the surface in seven locations situated in the Eratosthenes main prospect area. The samples were preserved with Lugol iodine and stored in black polyethylene bottles at room temperature until the analysis. Overall, 47 taxa were identified employing the Utermohl method. In order to investigate the benthic community structure of Eratosthenes main prospect area, 62 samples were collected from all stations, consisting of 2 replicates each, collected via a 50 cm x 50 cm box corer of 82 L in volume at an average depth of 925 m. The examined samples yielded a total of 2137 individuals, belonging to 84 taxa.