Revival of Lake Sevan ecosystem assisted by innovative underwater technology
* Quality Assured Data from SGP’s Annual Monitoring Process as of June 30, 2021.
Revival of Lake Sevan ecosystem assisted by innovative underwater technology
Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the South Caucasus. The Lake is home to 6 species of fish, all of which are endangered, while there are more than 250 species of vertebrates (48 are protected), about 150 species of invertebrates and about 1600 plants in the basin of the lake.
There are many abandoned fishing nets and traps at the bottom of Lake Sevan. Although these nets and traps are not in use, they continue to trap and kill fish, crawfish, etc. The decaying remnants of flora and fauna consume oxygen during decomposition, creating anaerobic conditions at the bottom of the lake. This is detrimental for endemic species, such as Sevan trout that spawn only in areas with oxygen-rich water at the depth of 25–30 m.
The project aims to clean the bottom of Lake Sevan of abandoned traps, fishing nets and other litter, and recycle the retrieved nylon fishing nets into marketable products through employing technical equipment to systematically scan the lakebed, which will increase the capacity and efficiency of the cleaning efforts. A boat-towed scanning sonar and underwater remotely operating vehicle (ROV) and drones will be operated to locate the abandoned nets, traps and other litter. Volunteer qualified scuba divers will then undertake dives in those areas to retrieve the litter. The mapping and cleaning activities, as well as design, production and marketing of recycled products, will be implemented with the active help and participation of the local community. Local youth will be also involved in robotics, aiming to build, program and operate the surface sonar and underwater drones. The project plans recycling the retrieved nylon fishing nets and engaging and educating the local community, mostly women to produce and market artisan artwork and souvenirs to be sold to visitors and tourists.

Project Snapshot

Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 17,800.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 58,400.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
In the course of the project, knowledge and expertise will be acquired to operate sophisticated equipment - surface sonar and underwater remotely-operated vehicle, while scanning vast areas of the bottom of lake Sevan. The gained technical expertise and knowledge can be useful for underwater archeology and geology; RA NAS Institutes of Geology and of Hydroecology and Ichthyology; survey of flora of Lake Sevan for Sevan National Park, especially in the recently flooded areas; and the RA Ministries of Environment and Emergency Situations. The project will also enable gaining expertise needed for underwater engineering and construction, so far lacking in Armenia. Moreover, the systematic scanning of the bottom of lake Sevan will produce detailed maps of the lakebed lacking hitherto. Finally, the members of the local community, adults and youth, will acquire knowledge and skills to produce and market fashionable items and to construct, program and operate surface and underwater drones.
Policy Impact
It is expected that the project activities will contribute to the national policy and programs aimed at cleaning the shallow coastal areas. Moreover, the project plans to collaborate with the Institute of Hydroecology and Ichthyology of NAS of RA and with the RA Ministry of Environment to provide them periodically with various samples of water and visibility characterization in Sevan, which is important for water resource management. The project is closely related to EU4SEVAN project and may provide surveys of decaying flora in recently flooded areas of Lake Sevan. The project may also have impact on underwater archeology and geology, while the gained experience and know-how can be useful for underwater engineering and construction, as well as to the RA Ministry of Emergency Situations.
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Hectares of globally significant biodiversity area protected or sustainably managed by project 10000
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 35
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 100

Grantee Contact

Mr. Tigran Azizbekyan
Phone: +37491409320


SHERAMI 105/79 str.
Yerevan , 0034

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan
+374 60 530000+116
(+374 10) 543811
Ms. Svetlana Harutyunyan
+374 60 530000+117


14 Adamyan St.
Yerevan, 0010

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