SEATTLE-based naval architecture and marine engineering company Glosten has completed concept designs for a new coastal research vessel for the South Australian Research and Development Institute.

SARDI, the research arm of the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, operates the 1985-built, 25-metre Ngerin, on biological and oceanographic studies in southern Australia, including aquaculture environmental assessment, fisheries surveys, and species abundance and biodiversity mapping.

The new vessel is being funded by the Australian National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, and Glosten says the project has the potential to provide the marine research community in southern Australia with a state-of-the-art asset that will aid SARDI in the protection and management of local marine ecosystems.

“Our goal was to help guide SARDI through the initial stages of a build and design process. Their vision was a vessel that could operate cleanly and quietly, so we selected a diesel-electric power plant which allows for hybrid and battery-only operations,” Glosten said.

“Glosten worked closely with stakeholders to develop a preliminary vessel specification and general arrangement that would satisfy the needs of both crew and scientists, and provided SARDI with capital and operating cost estimates to help them prepare a business case in pursuit of their mission.”

The new vessel’s tasks will include multi-disciplinary research programs using trawls, fish traps and crustacean pots; fully standardised annual surveys monitoring recruitment and spawning stocks in key fisheries; collecting abundance and biological data through deploying and operating research sampling gear; towing underwater survey cameras and deploying oceanographic monitoring equipment; and assisting offshore research projects in waters off southern Australia.