MMBI scientists conducted integral ecosystem studies in the Barents and Greenland seas in the period from July 12 to August 1. First, RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" passed along the secular section "Kola meridian" (33 ° 30'E) up to ice edge at latitude of 78 ° 44 '. Particular attention was paid to the polar front area, where stations were performed with a discreteness of 15 nautical miles. The set of works included STD-probes for measuring sea water temperature and salinity from surface to bottom, sampling the content of biogenic elements and dissolved oxygen, virio-, bacterio-, phytoplankton, macrozoobenthos, radioactive contamination. A net catching of zooplankton, of seabirds and mammals observation was made.

Stations and route of RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" expedition, July 12 - August 1, 2017.

RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" near the ice edge in the Barents Sea (photo by O. Kalinka)

After the Kola section, the ship went to the Spitsbergen archipelago in order to continue the marine research carried out by MMBI in this region in 2001-2003, 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2015. The main goal of the expedition to Spitsbergen in July 2017 was a comprehensive ecosystem survey in the Isfjord system. It was organized jointly with University Center in Svalbard (UNIS) as part of the international project IMOS (Isfjorden Marine Observatory Svalbard). Due to this, in a fairly short time, it was possible to obtain permission from the Norwegian authorities to call at ports of Barentsburg and Longyearbyen, as well as to conduct scientific research in territorial waters of the archipelago. At the same time, research tasks on the topics of state projects of MMBI and AARI were solved in Isfjord.
   Ecosystem photography in Isfjord was localized in 3 sections:
- a longitudinal section from the Nordenskiöld glacier (Bille Fjord) to the exit from Isfjord;
- longitudinal section in the Gren-Fjord;
- cross section at the exit from Isfjord.
STD-profiling from surface to bottom was performed at all stations. At integral stations with the help of a cassette sampler (rosettes), hydrochemical and hydrobiological water samples were selected. Zooplankton catching was carried out at once by 4 types of networks: Jedi, WP2, MultiNet midi, ITN. The bottom sediment for artificial radionuclides maintenance and sampling macrozoobenthos was selected by the Van Vin bottom grab. Transect visual observations of seabirds and mammals were conducted throughout the investigated water area

Stations and route of the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" in the area of the Spitsbergen archipelago.

RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" in Grøn Fjord on the Spitsbergen archipelago (photo by O. Zimina)

Marine research aboard the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" in Isfjord has become a good example of international and interdepartmental cooperation in Svalbard. 10 scientists from MMBI, 2 from AARI and 2 from UNIS took part in the survey.

Participants in the integral ecosystem survey of Isfjord on the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy, Port of Longyearbyen, July 25, 2017 (photo J. Søreide)

After the exit from Isfjord, the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" carried out integral studies in the southern part of the Western Spitsbergen island, in the Stur-Fjord Strait. Water samples were taken for 137Cs and 90Sr on the way to Murmansk., Several dredges were made by the Sigsby trawl to select the zoobenthos.

The ascent of the Sigsby trawl aboard the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" in the Barents Sea (photo M. Pavlova)

84 stations were carried out during the voyage. Over 2100 nautical miles have been passed.
   Earlier, the Council on the Earth's Hydrosphere approved a plan for expedition work on the Spitsbergen archipelago. The program of integral scientific research was developed in accordance with the "Plan for the implementation of the Russian Presence Strategy for the Spitsbergen Archipelago" approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. The Council decided to add a 10-day complex expedition of RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" in the plan. During the summer period of 2017, the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" carried out scientific research in the area of the Spitsbergen archipelago from July 18 to 28, 20-26 July, with the permission of the Norwegian authorities, the vessel was in territorial waters. Continuation of marine research in Spitsbergen is planned for November-December 2017.
Classification repair and marine expedition of the RV "Dalnie Zelentsy" are financed by the FAO of Russia from the federal budget.