Personal tools

You are here: Home / Caspian / Mnemiopsis Leidyi / documents / Working Group on preparation of issues related to Monitoring of Mnemiopsis (ML) in the Caspian Sea

Working Group on preparation of issues related to Monitoring of Mnemiopsis (ML) in the Caspian Sea


All members of the group have stressed out an acute need for additional data and organization of permanent monitoring of ML in the Caspian Sea. There have been considered major possibilities of monitoring arrangement:

  1. Complete environmental monitoring covering major characteristics of ecosystem;

  2. Partial monitoring focused on ML and (if possible) on the most crucial characteristics of ecosystem related to ML;

  3. Low cost (public) monitoring proposed by professor R. Harbison (see related document).

It was mentioned that it is desirable to organize a specialized cruise to study ML throughout the entire Caspian Sea with full range of environmental measurements; and that the best timing for such cruise is August.

The representatives of regional scientific–research organizations provided the following brief information on 2001 work plan for the first and second types of monitoring:

  • It is planned to arrange monitoring of ML practically during all expeditions of CaspNIRKH, including large-scale international survey of bio resources in July-August and Floating University cruise on the board of a scientific research vessel (RV) of CaspNIRKH.

  • It has been planned to organize specialized researches in the Southern part of Caspian Sea on the board of the small Iranian RV (up to 6 scientists).

  • The Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan plans to arrange monitoring via the network comprising 120 stations in the whole coastal zone of Azerbaijan three times a year (in spring, summer and autumn).

  • OKIOC is planning to conduct a cruise in August 2001 in Kazakh coastal waters in the northern and central parts of Caspian Sea involving researches of ML.

Regarding to third point, it has been noted that not all participants are confident about its feasibility and efficiency for the region, however in general the attitude to this proposal is positive. It can be used for gathering of information from the oil platforms, fish protection vessels, fishermen, students, etc.

Methodology for monitoring and data processing, catching tools

All participants have emphasized on keen need for unification of catching tools and methodology, at least for ML.

It was agreed that T. Shiganova and A. Kideys will voluntarily work out first draft document outlining methodology for data collection and processing as well as catching tools by 15th of May 2001.

This draft will be sent out for consideration and comments to all participants and specialized group of experts consisting of T. Shiganova and M. Vinogradov (Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences), A. Kideys (IMS METU), H. Negarestan (IFRO), A. Kasimov (Caspian Biological Station), G. Finenko (Institute of Biology of Southern Seas) and A. Polyanikova (CaspNIRKH), The final draft of the document will be prepared and sent out to all participants by May 30, 2001.

There have been provided estimates on availability and costs of plankton nets to study ML. At present, most of regional organizations do not have such nets. The costs for net may vary from 100 to 500 USD (depending on design and place of manufacturing). If fund available, the nets can be produced in Turkey at the beginning of summer. It is necessary to have at least 2 nets per institution.

A.Kideys has also taken a commitment to work out a proposal on feasible methodology and catching tools for the “low-cost monitoring”. The proposal will be delivered to the participants by May 15.

Informational support of ML research

It has been suggested to establish specialized module MnemiopSIS as a part of CEP Information System on Caspian Sea (CaspSIS), which will contain the relevant information grouped in the following sections:

  • ML Bibliography
  • Research Organizations dealing with ML
  • Scientists / Experts on ML
  • Available Data Sets on ML in the Caspian Sea.

The forms to be filled in will be sent out to the participant not later than May 15 and information will be collected by the Program Coordination Unit by May 30.

It has been agreed to create a detailed data Inventory for Ml on the basis of format the description of which is given on the CEP Web page (http// The Inventory will be composed by May 30 provided that information will be delivered by organizations owning it before May 15.

There has been briefly discussed a possibility of creation of a joint data base on ML. The participants noted that it is a complex issue requiring additional investigation and discussion. In the nearest future, CEP Program Coordination Unit will send out additional materials pertinent to this issue to the participants.

There have been proposed and discussed the following proposals for the laboratory research and modeling section:

Laboratory Study

Mnemiopsis predatory impact on the pelagic community of the Caspian Sea.

1. Objectives

The main goal of the proposed research is to find out if the new alien Mnemiopsis will control abundance and structure of plankton community in the Caspian Sea..

It embraces the following more specific objectives:

1. To determine hydrophysical and ecological interaction in planktonic communities in different parts of the Caspian Sea.

2. To determine the functional characteristics of the plankton populations, especially rates of ingestion, respiration, growth and reproduction in Mnemiopsis. To develop the prey-predator interaction simulation model using field and experimental data in mesozooplankton- Mnemiopsis food chain .

The proposed study will promote the identification of the relative contribution of M. leidyi predation to the observed changes in the plankton community biomass of the Caspian Sea.

Results obtained may be used to develop the ecological model of the Caspian Sea pelagic ecosystem functioning and to gain a better understanding of ctenophore population dynamics.

2. Research tasks

Determination of ingestion, respiration, growth and reproduction rates of M. leidyi and the effects of food supply, body weight, temperature, and salinity on these parameters.

Determination of the chemical composition (protein, lipids, carbohydrates, glycogen, mono- and polysaccharides) and evaluation of the ctenophore's condition in the Caspian Sea.

To develop the simulation model describing prey-predator interaction into mesozooplankton – Mnemiopsis food chain.

To make a comparison of Mnemiopsis population structure and dynamics as well as its impact on planktonic community in the caspian and black seas.

Document Actions