Collecting samples with nets on board RV Investigator!

Marine biologists on board Investigator will be able to study ocean life, including things like phytoplankton, sea cucumbers, worms, crabs, jellyfish, squids, sponges, and algae, and commercial fishery species like southern bluefin tuna.

They’ll collect samples to better understand the life cycle and ecosystems of marine plants and animals.

Why don’t you check out the animation that explains how?

MNF – RV Investigator – Collecting samples with nets

Fancy a tour of RV Investigator?

Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel Investigator looks pretty spectacular inside and out!

Why don’t you come on a tour with one of the MNF’s Operations Officers, Max McGuire?

RV Investigator – tour with Max McGuire transcript


Season’s Greetings

Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane tours RV Investigator

The Welcome to Port Celebrations were absolutely fantastic on Friday 12 December, starting with our Minister, the Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane, touring the new Marine National Facility research vessel, Investigator.

The Minister declared the ship to be the best research vessel in the world and we’re inclined to agree!

Check out the photos!


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The big day is here: RV Investigator’s Welcome to Port

RV Investigator

RV Investigator will be formally commissioned in Hobart today.

The day has finally arrived: our new 94 metre, A$120 million research vessel (RV) Investigator will be commissioned in Hobart today.

This marks Investigator’s transition  from being a CSIRO  ship building and commissioning project to being Australia’s new Marine National Facility ship, ready to embark on its maiden voyage in March 2015.

You may have noticed we’ve been making quite a bit of fuss about the Investigator recently. Here’s three* good reasons why.

First of all, she’s good news for Tasmania. Between them, Investigator and the Marine National Facility pump somewhere between $7 million and $11 million a year into the local economy. In the last ten years Hobart has become a marine and Antarctic science hub. CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship and the University of Tasmania’s $45 million Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) headquarters are located there, along with a large number of other marine and Antarctic bodies. Investigator will enhance this.

Secondly, she’s good news for Australia in general. We will be using the expanded scientific capability of the Investigator to work on projects that are specifically selected to benefit our nation, like:

  • helping increase aquaculture productivity,
  • giving us a better understanding of the dominant role of the ocean in weather and climate variability,
  • revolutionising fisheries science and management, and
  • providing a greater understanding of the changing dynamics of the ocean floor (such as the movement of tectonic plates, which can trigger tsunamis).

And third, as Federal Industry Minister the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP explains, she brings greater capacity to do research across Australia’s marine territory. For example, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about our deepest oceans, and only 12% of the ocean floor within Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone has so far been mapped. With the Investigator we will now be able to map the ocean floor to any depth, search for resources, better understand our fisheries, collect weather data 20km into the atmosphere and much more.

Now that we’ve covered off the broad strokes, it’s time to take a closer look at the ship itself! First, check out this cool time lapse video of Investigator being built, from beginning to end:

And once you’re finished with that, take a tour inside:

She’s an awesome sight. If you’re in Hobart this afternoon, be sure to come down and check out the official Welcome to Port event. We’d love to see you!

*An extra super bonus reason we love the Investigator? Nautical puns.

RV Investigator’s maiden voyage southward bound

Marine National Facility media release, 12 December 2014

Today at the Welcome to Port Celebrations in Hobart, Investigator will transition from being a CSIRO  ship building and commissioning project to being Australia’s new Marine National Facility ship ready to embark on its maiden voyage in March 2015.

The Chair of the Marine National Facility (MNF) Steering Committee, Dr Ian Poiner, said the maiden voyage is a collaboration involving the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the Integrated Marine Observing System, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, and will be led by Professor Tom Trull.

“Professor Trull’s research will continue to contribute to the global understanding of the Southern Ocean, which plays a dominant role in the movement of heat throughout the world’s oceans as it moderates the Earth’s weather, its variability, and rate of change,” Dr Poiner said.

“The voyage will redeploy the Integrated Marine Observing System’s Southern Ocean Time Series and Southern Ocean Flux Station moorings, reestablishing essential monitoring infrastructure providing time series measurements critical for our understanding of the Southern Ocean.”

“In a time of global interest in the Southern Ocean, this voyage will reinforce Australia’s research investment in the region, and will help us better understand this vast ocean’s influence on weather and rainfall in Australia and globally.”

“The 94 metre Investigator is capable of 10,000 nautical miles, or 60 days in a single voyage, and the maiden voyage is the first on which Australian researchers will have access to an enviable suite of scientific equipment that will dramatically improve Australia’s national marine knowledge, putting our country at the forefront of marine research internationally.”

“The MNF Steering Committee is very excited about managing the $120 million ship on behalf of the nation and enabling research crucial to managing our vast ocean estate,” Dr Poiner said.

“Research enabled by the MNF contributes to Australia’s national benefit, and informs government and industry to support decision making in fisheries management, geological resources, regional and global climate, coastal and offshore developments and marine operations.”

“Australia has the third largest marine jurisdiction globally, with sovereign rights over much of this vast estate and associated fishing, biotechnological, mineral, and petroleum resources.”

“These resources and their associated industries contribute to the vitality and sustained success of the Australian economy, in 2009 the national value of production across all marine-based industries was valued at AUD$ 42.3 billion, contributing to more than 10 per cent of GDP.

A full list of voyages for the next three years is available on the Marine National Facility website

Investigator goes to sea, to see what it can (3-D) see


By Hannah Scott 

Tomorrow will mark the official Welcome to Port for the new research vessel, Investigator - however science success is already happening on board!

Over the last few weeks hydrographers on board the Investigator have created the first 3-D images to come from the vessel of the ocean floor around Tasmania: and the results are spectacular.

The impressive ship is equipped with sonar that will map the sea floor in 3-D to any depth, and a sub-bottom profiling system that can look further up to 100 metres into the actual sea bed, to determine its composition.

The team responsible have been setting out 120 nautical miles north east and south east of Hobart to test and calibrate a range of equipment and the sea floor data is being collected as they go.

An area of sea floor mapped by the Investigator recently. It can map, in detail, to any ocean depth.

An area of sea floor mapped by the Investigator recently.

While there have previously been images of Tasmania’s surrounding sea floor collected in sections, the Investigator has allowed the data to be collected at a higher resolution than ever before.  To put this into perspective, the sonar on the previous research vessel, Southern Surveyor, operated to 3000 metres and the Investigator can map in detail to any ocean depth.

Investigator has recently undertaken sea trials off the coast of Tasmania to test and calibrate around $20 million worth of scientific equipment in preparation for research voyages in 2015.

The Welcome to Port Celebrations for RV Investigator will be held on the CSIRO Wharf at Battery Point, Hobart, on Friday 12 December 2014, which will mark the official handover of the ship from CSIRO to the Marine National Facility for operation.

The public are invited to come down to the CSIRO Wharf from 3pm to 8pm, where there will be science education activities for all ages, science equipment on display and the chance to win a ship tour of RV Investigator. The event is free.


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