Historical archive

New, ice-class research vessel

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs

The Government will assess the need for a new, ice-class research vessel capable of operating in the far north. An ice-class research vessel would be useful in obtaining information needed for making political and management decisions in the High North, for example in connection with the development of the petroleum and fisheries sectors. It would also be used in monitoring to improve our understanding of the environment, climate and resources in the north.

Press release

No.: 105/2006
Date: 01.12.06
Press Contact: Director General Arne Benjaminsen, mobile 48 06 45 49

New, ice-class research vessel

The Government will assess the need for a new, ice-class research vessel capable of operating in the far north. An ice-class research vessel would be useful in obtaining information needed for making political and management decisions in the High North, for example in connection with the development of the petroleum and fisheries sectors. It would also be used in monitoring to improve our understanding of the environment, climate and resources in the north.

Northern waters are among the world’s most important food sources, but they are also vulnerable. Since pollutants transported from more southerly latitudes end up in the Arctic, the area is at particular risk.

There is a need for extensive geological surveying of the High North. A multi-purpose vessel capable of negotiating thick ice and equipped for shallow drilling and the collection of seismic data would be of great value for such surveys. This would give Norway a leading role as regards this type of research in the north. A new research vessel would also be useful for educational purposes.

Norway has a fleet of 12–14 research vessels. Several of them are modified fishing vessels. Four of the vessels will be more than 30 years old by 2010.

A thorough planning process will be required before a final decision can be made on whether a new vessel should be built. The Norwegian plans will also be viewed in connection with similar plans in other countries.

The process will be led by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs and conducted in cooperation with the Ministries of the Environment, of Petroleum and Energy, and of Education and Research.