RV Pelagia/MRFRV Pelagia/MRF (from 2015 onward together in NMF)

Contact details:

Prof. Dr. H. Brinkhuis
Landsdiep 4, 1797 SZ 't Horntje (Texel)

Marine and maritime research in the Netherlands is today catered for by the Marine Research Facility (MRF), of which RV Pelagia is the flagship. RV Pelagia is the only ocean-going multi-purpose research vessel under Dutch flag, operating worldwide, which can facilitate seagoing research in all marine science disciplines. In addition, MRF operates two smaller vessels (RV Navicula and RV Stern) and a wide array of marine research equipment. Traditionally research focuses on geology, geophysics and all aspects of biological research, more recently extending towards technical applications. From 2016 onward these activities will be continued in the National Marine research Facilities (NMF).

Central for NMF is RV Pelagia, a multi-purpose Ocean Class research vessel capable of operating in all oceans with exception of the Polar Seas. The ship has 12 crew and can take up to 12 scientists and additional support technicians for cruises of up to 6 weeks. The ship is capable of 24/7 operations. RV Pelagia is equipped for multi-disciplinary cruises; beside 3 fixed labs the ship can host 9 20ft container labs, allowing for multiple disciplines working together on the ship at any time and allowing for flexibility in between cruises. Operating 24/7 throughout the year, RV Pelagia is now 24 years old and will need substantial upgrading. Both the ship’s facilities and the associated research equipment need to be adapted to the current needs in marine research to continue to function as a state-of-the-art platform for marine research.
Most of the commonly used equipment is available from the equipment pool, hosted by the NMF and this equipment can be requested by all scientists working in the Netherlands. The equipment pool contains two smaller-sized research vessels, equipment for bottom sampling, water sampling, moored instrumentation, biological sampling equipment such as nets and analytical facilities for on board analysis of water samples. Furthermore, the equipment pool owns a large numbers of seagoing containers, such as temperature controlled laboratories, office and workshop containers and containers for transport of equipment to ports all over the world.
To operate the equipment, winches are available in the equipment pool. The main oceanographic winch has an 8000m aramid cable with copper conductors and fiber optics to allow for on-line HD video and for metal-free water sampling. This winch is also used for all bottom sampling at depth greater than 3000m.
RV Pelagia has excellent, very experienced crew and technical support. A main area of expertise is the deployment and recovery of deep sea moorings, where instrumentation to measure the physical properties of the ocean or collect particles are attached to cables anchored to the seafloor, to water depths of up to 8500m. Moorings are normally left out at sea for 1 year or more and are recovered by dropping the anchor, bringing the instruments back up to the surface to be recovered.
Within the new structure of the NMF the expertise and equipment brought together encompasses the full operational structure needed for sea going research. This ranges from expedition planning, technical support for developing dedicated (deep)sea equipment, worldwide logistics and on-board operational support towards the final long-term (open access) storage of the data acquired