State-of-the-art catamaran expected to take Hawaii marine research to ‘new frontiers’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii marine biologists are celebrating what’s being a called a game-changing development for ocean science in the Pacific.
The University of Hawaii has announced a state-of-the-art marine research vessel will be joining its fleet next year.
Built to be a laboratory and classroom, Imua is a 68-foot-catamaran that will be outfitted with the latest equipment and technology.
“She fills a critical gap for us and will greatly increase our capacity and really open some new frontiers for research that have been on our doorstep, but we just haven’t had the right platform to access it,” said Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology associate researcher Carl Meyer.
The vessel is part of a $50 million grant from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan.
Researchers say it will open the door to study Hawaii’s ecosystem and a variety of threats, including ocean warming and climate change.
“It will enable us to easily study remote habitats in the deep sea and open ocean about which we know relatively very little,” Meyer explained.
“She’ll give us a tremendous new ability to learn about everything from marine viruses to sharks and to better understand the important physics and chemistry of our marine environment.’
Meyer says the vessel will also be used for statewide education expeditions.
Imua is already under construction and expected to arrive in Hawaii next summer.
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