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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Norway and FAO to launch state-of-the-art research vessel

Boat with seven laboratories will collect data on marine ecosystems, climate change and pollution. The aim is to help developing countries improve fisheries management The EAF-Nansen project includes 32 coastal countries in Africa. Norway will build one of the most advanced research vessels in the world as part of this ongoing project with the FAO. The new $80 million research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen will replace an older craft that has been carrying out in-depth research near the coast of Africa since 1993.
The project uses 32 coastal countries in Africa to provide them detailed information on their marine resources so that they can develop fisheries management plans, with a focus on maintaining ecosystem health and productivity.
“What makes this project unique is that developing countries take ownership of the information collected,” said EAF-Nansen Project Coordinator Kwame Koranteng. “The overall goal is to enable countries to make their own assessments and prepare and implement fisheries management plans, which are critical for marine resources threatened by overfishing, pollution and climate change.”
In coming years the project will also focus on the impacts of climate change and pollution, including environmental monitoring on offshore oil and gas mining activities.
“We hope the project will contribute, among other things, to answering the key question of how climate change will affect the distribution and abundance of marine species, which is a critical issue for the livelihoods of millions of people,” said Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the project is run by FAO with the scientific support of IMR, and collaborates with national and regional institutions and other UN agencies.

Source: FAO