NOAA fisheries survey vessel launched

21 Jun 2012
Reuben Lasker. Credit: Val Ihde, Marinette Marine Corp.

Reuben Lasker. Credit: Val Ihde, Marinette Marine Corp.

NOAA’s Reuben Lasker, a fisheries survey vessel, was launched on 16 June by Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC), the Wisconsin shipyard building the vessel.

Pamela A Lasker, the daughter of the ship’s namesake and its sponsor, christened the ship before the 208ft vessel was side-launched into the Menominee River.

The Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of Oscar Dyson-class ships built for the agency. The ship will be equipped with the latest technology for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors, and scientific sampling gear. The Reuben Lasker will primarily support fish, marine mammals and turtle surveys off the US West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

The high-tech 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 behaviour.

The new vessel 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.

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