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.