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Marine Biology Research Center

With a constant threat of an oil spill due to increased vessel traffic, exploratory and production drilling operations, it is imperative to monitor the Saudi waters of the Gulf so that these unique sensitive ecosystems could be protected and the fisheries could be sustained. CEW currently carries out research from the main campus of KFUPM at Dhahran. Over the past three decades, CEW has logarithmically expanded both in terms of projects, research facilities and research scientists but the lack of a dedicated research facility with close proximity to the marine environment has hugely restricted the Marine Environmental Research of CEW. Hence, considering the need of the hour a comprehensive, inter-disciplinary research laboratory dedicated to the monitoring of the Saudi waters of Arabian Gulf is required. It is proposed that the shore facility will be entitled as Marine Biology Research Center (MBRC), in recognition of the facts that the scope will extend to whole of Saudi sector of the Gulf and encompass a variety of marine disciplines. Due to the accessibility to Sea and proximity to the Main campus, the proposed location of the MBRC will be at the KFUPM beach 40 km from KFUPM Campus at Dhahran.

The rationale behind setting up of a Marine Research Laboratory can be summarized as given below. Research in marine sciences has two components: i). collection and in vitro analysis of samples, and ii) direct observations and experimentation, both of which are complementary to each other. That is how most marine research stations around the world have come to be located on the shore or, if not, have a fully equipped research laboratory on the shore. Well-known examples across the world are the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in USA, Plymouth Marine Laboratory in UK, Australian Institute of Marine Sciences in Australia, Institut François pour la Recherché sur la Mer (FREMER) in France, and several others.