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Background

The Norwegian government decided in September of 2012 to fund construction of a new research vessel. The vessel will be ready in 2016, and will replace the now 20-year-old "R/V Dr. Fridtjof Nansen" which since 1975 has been deployed for most ecosystem surveys organized by the Nansen project, and has strongly supported carrying out fisheries research in a number of developing countries.

This new research vessel is vital to continuation of the Nansen project, and will facilitate several areas of research, including to:

  • Assess fishery resources
  • Map types of benthic habitat and sediment;
  • Collect data to determine the effects of climate change;
  • Map marine biodiversity;
  • Measure levels of CO2 and ocean acidification;
  • Measure oxygen levels in marine systems; and
  • Study the effects of pollution — especially in connection with offshore petroleum activities.

The vessels design will meet the strictest environmental and emissions standards, and will be practical for: teaching and training operations; travel to tropical and temperate climates; and operations in both shallow and deep waters.