(MENAFN) Italy-based International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CHIEAM) inaugurated a scientific ship in Lebanon that will be dedicated to studying flora, fauna and seismic activity off the Mediterranean coast, AFP reported.
Cana, as the ship is called, is the first of its kind in the Middle East, Cosimo Lacirignola, director of the (CHIEAM) said at the inauguration ceremony..
CHIEAM is running the project, funded almost entirely by the Italian government, in collaboration with Lebanon's National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS).
The vessel will map out clean beaches in Lebanon and produce detailed bathymetric, or topographic, and seismic maps along a 10- to 15-kilometre-wide (six-to-nine-mile) strip near the Lebanese coast.
Environmental organisations for more than two years have warned swimmers of the hazards of dipping into the once-pristine Mediterranean waters which have increasingly become polluted.
Cana, named after a south Lebanon town that suffered two deadly Israeli air strikes in 1996 and 2006, will be able to identify and analyse pollutants, no small feat in a country like Lebanon, which regularly dumps untreated sewage into the Mediterranean.