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09.09.2014 00:49 Age: 3 yrs

This is a ‘red letter day’ for blue water marine science, says IMOS Director, Tim Moltmann.

The RV Investigator pulled into its home port of Hobart at approximately 10am today.

The RV Investigator arrives in Hobart. Image credits Tim Moltmann, IMOS.

IMOS welcomes the arrival of the new blue-water research vessel, as it is vital for the delivery of a number of our IMOS data streams. The RV Investigator is a platform for the IMOS Ships of Opportunity Facility; with equipment that measure and collect data ranging across biogeochemistry, sea surface temperature, air-sea fluxes, ocean colour and bio-acoustic observations of mid-trophic organisms.

“This is a ‘red letter day’ for blue water marine science” said IMOS Director Tim Moltmann. “It’s been a long time coming, and the Australian marine science community is geared up and ready to go.  The Investigator is a game changer, and will enable great science and amazing discoveries for many years to come.  I think it’s particularly exciting for the younger generation of seagoing researchers who now have this wonderful facility to work with throughout their careers. ”

With almost $20 million worth of scientific equipment, the 94m ship is capable of mapping the sea floor at any depth, collecting weather data 20km into the atmosphere, analysing fish species with sonar and revealing the composition of the sea bed 100m below the sea floor.

Executive Director of CSIRO’s Future Research Vessel Project, Ms Toni Moate said the ship’s scientific capabilities are extensive.

“We now have the exciting task of working with the marine science community to explore the different ways we can combine the data collected on board Investigator, to answer important research questions,” Ms Moate said.

Dr Brian Griffiths, from the Future Research Vessel Project Technical Team said over the next five months the wharf will be a hive of activity for the final fit out of scientific equipment on board the ship.

“It’s an exciting day for the teams that have worked so hard to deliver this ship to Australia, and for those who are waiting to literally get their hands on the ship here in Hobart,” Dr Griffiths said.

In 2009 the Australian Government committed $120 million for a new Marine National Facility research vessel. The project is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the Super Science Initiative and financed from the Education Investment Fund.

Under direction of an independent Steering Committee, the Marine National Facility is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.