NOAA's New West Coast Fisheries Survey Vessels

Advancing SWFSC's Research at Sea Aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker

NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker is the fifth in a series of the most technologically advanced fisheries vessels in the world. Delivery of the Lasker to San Diego is expected in 2013 with funding provided by the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new vessel is named after the late Dr. Reuben Lasker, who served as the Director of SWFSC's Coastal Fisheries Division and as adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, U.C. San Diego. Dr. Lasker built a renowned research group that focused on the recruitment of young fish to the adult population -- a topic with implications for fisheries management throughout the world. Read more about Lasker...

Download: NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker PDF

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration submitted to Congress its proposed recovery plan to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and restore the environment. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NOAA was provided $830 million.
NOAA plans to invest $600 million in construction and repair of NOAA facilities, ships and equipment, including $78 million to complete the construction of the sixth Fisheries Survey Vessel that will replace the aged NOAA ship David Starr Jordan and support fisheries surveys and related research along the West Coast and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

For more information about NOAA's proposed recovery plan, and the construction of FSV-6 read: NOAA News Release.

Learn more about NOAA ships and SWFSC's at-sea research: Experience Life at Sea

Visit our research cruises, watch videos and read the weekly reports

For additional at-sea research programs please visit the research Division pages

NOAA's New West Coast Fisheries Survey Vessel, Bell M. Shimada

NOAA News Release: NOAA Commissions New Research Ship Bell M. Shimada

NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada PDF

Shimada line drawing
NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada

NOAA’s newest ship, the FSV Bell M. Shimada, will be one of the most technologically-advanced survey vessels in the world. Named after eminent fishery scientist, Bell Shimada, the vessel is designed to conduct both fisheries and oceanographic research. The FSV Bell M. Shimada will support NOAA's living marine resource stewardship and ecosystem management requirements in the California Current and in adjacent international waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Learn more about the new vessel's technological capabilities.

NOAA Commissions Bell M. Shimada

Shimada Commission

On August 25, 2010, Federal officials commissioned the new NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada during a ceremony steeped in tradition and maritime history. 

Shimada Launch

Shimada on the launch pad
NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada

On September 29, 2008, NOAA and VT Halter Marine christened and launched the fourth in a series of new fisheries survey vessels designed fisheries and ecosystem research along the U.S. West Coast. View the video of the launch.

Shimada Keel Laying Ceremony

Bill Fox at Keel Laying
At the keel laying ceremony: Dr Bill Fox, John Oliver, Dr. Usha Varanasi, Susan Lautenbacher, Allen Shimada and Sam De Bow

On June 15, 2007, NOAA’s Southwest and Northwest Fisheries Science Centers and VT Halter Marine celebrated the keel laying, signifying their start of construction, for the NOAA FSV Bell M. Shimada, which will be homeported on the U.S. west coast. The keel laying ceremony was attended by NOAA dignitaries, VT Halter Marine personnel, as well as the winning team from Marina High School in California who helped select the name of the ship.

Ship Naming

Student Team From California's Marina High School Names NOAA'S Newest Fisheries Survey Vessel (FSV/4), the Bell M. Shimada.

A team of five students and their biology teacher from Marina High School in Marina, Calif., won the "Name NOAA's New Ship" contest. NOAA selected the entry "Bell M. Shimada" for a 208-foot fisheries survey vessel that is currently under construction in Mississippi. Shimada was an eminent fisheries scientist who specialized in Pacific tropical tuna stocks. "This was an extremely competitive contest, and I commend the students from Marina High School for their efforts," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The contest was designed to encourage students to learn more about their oceans and coasts and the Marina High School team presented an outstanding recommendation." Learn More...

Meet Some Scientists Whose Names Were Nominated
History Makers: West Coast Fishery Pioneers

Learn more about the history of NOAA ship names Ship Naming Traditions