NOAA takes delivery of new fisheries survey vessel

Reuben Lasker to support marine research on the West Coast

November 12, 2013

Fisheries Survey Vessel Reuben Lasker.

Fisheries Survey Vessel Reuben Lasker following delivery from Marinette Marine Corporation to NOAA on Nov. 8, 2013 in Norfolk, Va.

Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

NOAA has taken delivery of Reuben Lasker, the agency’s newest high-tech fisheries survey vessel from Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri company. The 208-ft. ship will primarily support fish, marine mammals and turtle surveys off the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

Reuben Lasker represents a significant milestone in the agency’s efforts to provide world-class marine science platforms,” said Rear Adm. Michael S. Devany, director of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Corps. “This state-of-the-art ship will play a key role in supporting NOAA’s mission and serving the nation.”

Built at MMC’s shipyard in Marinette, Wisc., and funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of Oscar Dyson-class ships built for the agency. The ship is equipped with the latest technology for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors, and scientific sampling gear.

“MMC has a long, established history of delivering exceptionally crafted and complex vessels,” said Chuck Goddard, MMC’s president and CEO. “The talented and skilled workers of MMC are proud to deliver this high quality vessel to NOAA in support of its important mission.”

Devany and Goddard.

Rear Adm. Michael Devany (left), director of NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and Marinette Marine Corporation President and CEO Chuck Goddard (right) shake hands following MMC's delivery of the Fisheries Survey Vessel Reuben Lasker to NOAA on Nov. 8, 2013 in Norfolk, Va. NOAA Corps Cmdr. Keith Roberts (center) is the ship's commanding officer.

Download here. (Credit: NOAA)

The ship is also engineered to 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’s comprehensive environmental sampling capabilities will enable researchers to gather a broad suite of marine life data with unprecedented accuracy.

“The fisheries survey vessel Reuben Lasker is designed to produce so little sound that our scientists can survey marine species without disturbing the animals' behavior or compromising the capabilities of our most sensitive acoustic equipment,” said Richard Merrick, chief scientist for NOAA Fisheries. “The vessel will support research that is essential to sustain and rebuild our nation's marine resources."

The ship is named after the late Dr. Reuben Lasker, a pioneering fisheries biologist who served as the director of the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s coastal fisheries division and as adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. Lasker directed a renowned research group that focused on the survival and transition of young fish to adulthood, a topic with implications for fisheries management throughout the world.

NOAA plans to commission Reuben Lasker in 2014. The ship will be homeported in San Diego, Calif. The NOAA fleet of ships and aircraft is operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps and civilian wage mariners.

About Marinette Marine Corporation

Founded in 1942, Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) is located on the Menominee River flowage into Green Bay. The largest shipyard in Wisconsin and the Midwest, MMC has delivered more than 1,300 vessels for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and commercial customers, including the technologically advanced Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Freedom variant for the US Navy. In 2008, MMC, along with several of its sister shipyards also based in the Great Lakes region, is a part of Fincantieri Marine Group, the U.S.-based subsidiary of Fincantieri SpA. Fincantieri is the largest shipbuilder in the western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. Over the past five years, Fincantieri invested more than $74 million in both capital infrastructure and its resources to support MMC’s transformation into what is now one of the best shipyards in the United States. Employing approximately 1,400 employees, today MMC is a state-of-the-art, full service new construction shipyard. The company maintains a fully capable engineering staff as well as logistics, program management, procurement and manufacturing talent.

About NOAA

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.