For the past 40 years, the research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen has sailed across the world to promote sustainable utilisation of marine resources and improved protection of marine environments. The vessel is owned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and is jointly operated by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
Phuket is the final stop on the vessel’s 2018 Africa-Asia tour, and its arrival was marked by a port call event. Chargé d'affaires a.i. Tor Haug was present at the event together with representatives from the Thai Department of Fisheries, the vice governor of Phuket, and a representative from the FAO.
In his address, Mr Tor Haug emphasised Norway’s commitment to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), and in particular goal number fourteen to protect life bellow water. Fisheries and the maritime industry has played an important part in the development of Norway’s economy, and the continued well-being of oceans is thus a priority. By collecting data which supports sustainable fisheries, the research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen contributes to the protection of marine life in the face of increasing fishing pressure, pollution and climate change.
The new Dr Fridtjof Nansen vessel was launched in May 2017, and is currently the most advanced research vessel in the world. In the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, its research will have a broad ecosystem approach to gain an understanding of the general ecosystem status. Sampling will be undertaken in relation to hydrographic conditions, plankton, egg and larvae, jellyfish, demersal, pelagic and mesopelagic resources, bottom sediment, and top predators.