The following is the text of a press release issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
(WASHINGTON) — NOAA awarded a $73.6 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contract to Marinette Marine Corporation located in Marinette, Wis., for the construction of a new fisheries survey vessel, which will dramatically improve NOAAâ€™s ability to conduct surveys for fish, marine mammals and turtles off the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The vessel will be the fifth in a series of state-of-the-art Oscar Dyson-class ships built for the agency.
â€œOur fisheries and marine ecosystems are critical to our nationâ€™s economy,â€ said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. â€œThanks to the Recovery Act, this new vessel will greatly enhance our understanding of our ocean resources and play a vital role in supporting NOAAâ€™s mission.â€
The ship will be equipped with a full suite of modern instrumentation for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors, scientific sampling gear and extensive laboratories.
The high-tech ship will also produce much less noise than other survey vessels, allowing scientists to study fish populations and collect oceanographic data with fewer effects on fish and marine mammal behavior.
The ship will be operated by NOAAâ€™s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and will primarily support NOAAâ€™s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. This competitive procurement is the continuation of NOAAâ€™s effort to revitalize its fleet of research vessels.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/usnoaagov.