Chinese scientific ship starts joint research mission in Nigeria waters

                LAGOS, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientific research ship Dayang Yihao, or Ocean One, on Tuesday started its nine-day exploration and research mission in Nigeria's waters with Nigerian and Chinese scientists.

                More than 100 Chinese and Nigerian scientists and officials attended the launching ceremony for sailing at the Apapa Hourbor in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, on Tuesday.

                Liu Xianfa, China's consul-general to Lagos, said "all of us are here to witness an important moment for Chinese and Nigerian scientists for the first time to engage in an maritime research, aiming to find more information on the ocean. The scientific joint research program will benefit both of the two countries and the world people."

                "This joint oceanographic cruise is the first of its kind between our two countries and indeed the first of its kind between an African state and the Chinese government," said E. A. Ajao, Director of Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research.

                "This exercise will promote development and cooperation in other areas of marine science and technology in the nearest future for ocean resource and exploration, ocean disaster reduction, satellite and remote sensing, climate change research, integrated coastal zone management and related research and training," said Ajao.

                This is the first time that marine scientists from China and Nigeria are working together on sea research, said Tang Yong, the chief scientist of the ship's research team.

                Tang said the research will help Nigeria to know the fishing condition on its sea, adding the ship is expected to conclude its voyage by the end of August.

                Already, the Nigerian Navy has sent six personnel to provide security for the visiting team.

                Dayang Yihao is the only open-ocean going vessel designated and equipped for deep-sea research in China.

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