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Marine Institute

€22m research vessel wanted to help with Brexit's impact on Ireland's seas'

The new vessel is due to replace the RV Celtic Voyager.

Vessel. Celtic Voyager research vessel Marine Institute Marine Institute

THE MARINE INSTITUTE in Co Galway has issued a €22 million tender for a new research vessel due for completion by 2022. 

According to Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute, “the vessel will provide critical national infrastructure to enable Ireland to address the considerable challenges of Brexit and the Common Fisheries Policy as well as climate induced impacts on our oceans.”

The new vessel – which is due to replace the Celtic Voyager which was built in the Netherlands in 1997 – will measure 50 to 55 metres long and should be a multipurpose research vessel to meet the survey requirements of the Institute. These include conducting  offshore fisheries surveys.

The vessel should also be capable oceanographic surveys, hydrographic surveys and underwater TV surveys as well as acting as an ROV platform, according to the tender advertisement, which is seeking a shipyard to build the vessel. 

To give a sense of the scale of the new vessel, the RV Celtic Voyager can accommodate six to eight scientists depending on the survey and can stay at sea for a maximum of 14 consecutive days. 

The new vessel will be used to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, too, as well as seabed mapping and surveys.

It will also be tasked with maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

Ship design consultants Skipsteknisk AS of Ålesund in Norway have been awarded the contract to design the new marine research vessel, which will be a sister ship to Ireland’s largest research vessel, the 65 metre RV Celtic Explorer.

Based in Galway, the vessel will be used by the Marine Institute and other State agencies and universities to undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research and surveys, as well as student training.

It will also enable the Marine Institute to continue seabed mapping exercises. 

According to Dr Heffernan, the vessel “will enable us all to more efficiently explore, collaborate, and conduct global ocean research”.

The new research vessel is due to be completed by 2022. 

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