The Portuguese State signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EFTA states in the 29th March 2012 for the implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 (EEA Grants 2009-2014). The MoU included, among others, the Programme Area 1 (PA1) – “Integrated Marine and Inland Water Management”. The Directorate General of Maritime Policy (DGPM) was designated as “PT02 – Integrated Marine and Coastal Waters Management” Programme Operator.
The MoU contained a predefined project for the acquisition and fitting of a dynamic positioning (DP) vessel equipped with marine surveying equipment. The project was assigned to the Portuguese Institute for the Ocean and Atmosphere.
The need for a new vessel was identified by the Portuguese Government because the existing research vessel “Noruega”, also financed by the Norwegian Government in 1978, is becoming technologically outdated and is reaching the end of its life cycle. The new vessel is not only able to meet the national obligations in the scope of the Data Collection Framework but is also capable to assure new monitoring responsibilities resulting from the application of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Furthermore, the nature of the extensive, diverse and ultra-deep sea of the national maritime space, which encompasses the Exclusive Economic Zone from continental Portugal, Azores and Madeira Archipelagos and the wider legal continental shelf, implies a new research vessel more fit to purpose and justifies the need for this predefined project.
Acquisition of a research vessel to carry out multidisciplinary marine research focused mainly on the Atlantic Ocean, from coastal to ultra-deep areas, to support environmental, halieutic, oceanographic studies and the operation of the LUSO ROV, a remotely operated vehicle capable of diving to depths of 6,000m, property of the Portuguese Task Group for the Extension of the Continental Shelf (EMEPC).
Portuguese Institute for the Ocean and Atmosphere, Portugal
Institute of Marine Research, Noruega
A new vessel to conducted research on the Atlantic Ocean, contributing to increase scientific knowledge and understanding, leading to more inform policies and improving the management of the maritime space and its resources.