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Cefas Assesses Kuwait's Marine Environment

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KUWAIT and UK - A contract for specialist environmental evaluation of Kuwaiti waters was signed by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and representatives from the Kuwait Environment Public Authority (KEPA) in London this week.

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Building on a long-standing relationship with Kuwait and significant track record of delivery to clients in the Middle East, stemming back to the 1980s, the contract will see Cefas assessing environmental conditions in Kuwait's marine and coastal areas, which have been impacted by sewage and industrial discharges.

Cefas' Chief Executive, Dr Mike Waldock, said: "The contract helps to consolidate further an ongoing relationship with our esteemed clients at KEPA.

"Cefas' wide-ranging capability in assessing the effects of industry on coastal and marine waters -be they heavy industry, offshore renewable or nuclear facilities - plus our experience of deploying diagnostic and analytical procedures to make informed decisions about real problems means that we are a natural 'fit' for this project.

"We're delighted to be able to offer our expertise and facilities so that Kuwait can ameliorate the effects of local environmental pollution on its people and protect its coastal environment."

A large proportion of the Kuwait urban population is concentrated along the southern coastline of Kuwait Bay. Further, the bay and coastal areas have been historically impacted by the release of oil and industrial contamination.

Coastal and Marine Infrastructure Programme Director and Project Leader, Katherine Kennedy, said: "The primary challenge of our studies will be to define the 'footprint of impact' - the specific cause of observed biological effects and the ecological and human health significance of those effects. Understanding any seasonal variations and sediment or water transport pathways will be key.

"Fortunately, Cefas has a well-established track record in a wide range of marine and modelling disciplines, which will be required for this work.

"In addition, by working in partnership with Kuwaiti scientists we hope to add to our knowledge base. This collaboration will also strengthen KEPA's own capacity to deal with any potential future environmental issues."

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