NOAA Ship Henry Bigelow Headed
for Shipyard


NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow is heading into dry dock in Norfolk, Va., to undergo motor repairs but is expected to return to service in mid-September to start the NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center annual fall bottom-trawl survey on the Northeast continental shelf.

The ship’s officers and crew and the NEFSC scientific party are ensuring that the cruise can start from the shipyard if necessary. The ship is normally readied for cruises at its homeport in Newport, R.I.

The Henry B. Bigelow supports a variety of marine research for the NOAA Fisheries’ NEFSC. The twice-yearly bottom trawl survey of fish and invertebrates is the longest running of its kind in the world, and collects data used to understand changes in marine life and their habitats over time.

The Bigelow’s typical operations during the year also include plankton and water sampling, acoustic surveys, coral mapping, oceanographic data collection and sampling, and sighting surveys for sea turtles, marine mammals, and sea birds.

Commissioned in 2007, the 208-foot, $60 million Henry B. Bigelow is a multi-purpose fishery research vessel. Its special hull construction allows researchers to study fish and other marine animals without significantly altering their behavior with its noise. Also, the ship can conduct bottom and mid-water trawls while also running physical and biological-oceanographic sampling. This allows it to support more than one scientific mission on each deployment. Its laboratory and computing capacity allow scientists to get a start on analyzing information while still at sea.