Maiden voyage to southern ocean

Australia’s scientific  research vessel, Investigator, is on her maiden research voyage into the Southern Ocean to deploy a series of marine monitoring moorings that will remain in the ocean for over a year and will return data live via satellite.

The Minister for Industry and Science Mr Ian Macfarlane congratulated CSIRO and the Australian marine science community for the hard work and dedication to the project to build the new Marine National Facility research vessel over the past decade, in order to arrive at this milestone.

The primary objective of the voyage is for scientists to redeploy the Integrated Marine Observing System’s Southern Ocean Time Series moorings. These are critical to our understanding of the role of the Southern Ocean in transferring heat and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and ocean.

The voyage will map the ocean’s physical, chemical and biological properties in the area around the moorings using a TRIAXUS towed sensor. This will enable the relationship between the atmosphere and the ocean to be better understood. In parallel, scientists will also map ocean ecosystems using a state-of-the-art bio-acoustics fish finding sonar. 

The new vessel is a critical platform to collect data that informs government and industry decision making across a range of disciplines including fisheries management, geological resources and marine operations,” Minister Macfarlane said.

The maiden voyage is a collaboration between CSIRO, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the Integrated Marine Observing System, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. The Chief Scientist leading the voyage is CSIRO’s Professor Tom Trull.

In addition to the mooring buoy deployment, scientists from Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of New South Wales are undertaking separate research.