National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Bell M. Shimada is the fourth in the class of fisheries survey vessels built for NOAA by VT Halter Marine, Inc., in Moss Point, Mississippi. It is a state-of-the art research ship capable of conducting a wide variety of fisheries and oceanographic research. Foremost among these capabilities is acoustic quieting technology, which enables NOAA scientists to monitor fish populations without altering their behavior. Bell M. Shimada supports NOAA's mission to protect, restore, and manage the use of living marine, coastal, and ocean resources. The research done aboard aids scientists in understanding the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem; a globally significant natural resource stretching from Baja California to British Columbia. Bell M. Shimada is uniquely dedicated to serve the entire West Coast of the United States.
Bell M. Shimada is a 208.6-foot stern trawler type vessel, with a cruising speed of 12 knots and range of 12,000 nautical miles. The ship's normal complement is 9 officers and 15 crew; with berthing for up to 15 scientists. The vessel is operated by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), and is home ported at NOAA's Marine Operations Center - Pacific (MOC-P), in Newport, Oregon.
Bell M. Shimada was named by a team of students from Marina High School in Monterey, California; who won a regional NOAA contest to name the vessel. The ship's namesake served with the Bureau of Fisheries and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and was known for his contributions to the study of tropical Pacific tuna stocks, which were important to the development of West Coast commercial fisheries following World War II. Bell M. Shimada's son, Allen, is a fisheries scientist with NOAA's Fisheries Service.
Last Modified: 10/24/14