Statsraad Lehmkuhl becomes a research vessel
When Statsraad Lehmkuhl sets sail for the circumnavigation One Ocean Expedition in August 2021, the ship will travel the world as both a sail training and a research vessel. A top team of Norwegian marine scientists has installed advanced scientific equipment on board, turning the 107 year old tall ship into a state-of-the-art research vessel. The goal is to gather new knowledge about the world's oceans and how humans affect it.
Through measurements and observations, information on the state of the world's oceans will be collected and shared with the public throughout the expedition.
"One Ocean follows a route which has been relatively little studied by research vessels. It´s a unique opportunity to collect large amounts of observations with one and the same platform across all the world's oceans", says Geir Huse, research director at the Institute of Marine Research.
Huse leads the One Ocean Scientific Committee, who has installed top modern measuring equipment on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl, turning the 107 year old tall ship into a state-of-the-art research vessel.
"On board a sailing ship powered by wind power, the data collection will also take place in a sustainable way and without disturbing noise from ships engines", says Huse.
Geir Huse (left) and the One Ocean Scientific Committee mounted the scientific equipment below the waterline when Statsraad Lehmkuhl was in dry dock.
The ocean holds the key
The circumnavigation will collect data on several matters, among these:
- environmental status and man-made impact on the marine and marine environment, such as plastic waste
- distribution and presence of various species of fish, marine mammals, jellyfish, crustaceans, plankton and other organisms.
- climate and influencing factors such as temperature, ocean acidification, oxygen measurements, wave measurements and other meteorological measurements
The classroom at Statsraad Lehmkuhl will be used for teaching and for monitoring, among other things, the ship's scientific echo sounder. Photographer: Cristine Fagerbakke/IMR.
The world's oceans are facing a number of challenges related to climate change: fisheries, littering, microplastics, acidification and reduced biodiversity. But the ocean is central to the solutions for humanity in the future, not least to be able to provide food for a growing population.
"The scientific program at The One Ocean Expedition will contribute to increase our knowledge about how we can solve these challenges, also considering how much impact the ocean has on a number of other ecosystems", says Huse.
He firmly believes that future developments in the maritime industries must be knowledge-based.
"Although significant marine research has been conducted in the last hundred years, there are still big gaps in our knowledge of the ocean", says Huse.
Real-time online reporting
In order to operate the scientific equipment and send home reports, researchers and students will join the voyage. Real-time online reporting of data is also planned, so that the public can follow the activity on board Statsraad Lehmkuhl on line from day to day during the voyage.