National marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers closed to the public; waters remain open

NOAA's national marine sanctuary offices and visitor centers are currently closed to the public, and in accordance with Executive Order 13991 - Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask Wearing, all individuals in NOAA-managed areas are required to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on mask-wearing and maintaining social distances. Sanctuary waters remain open for responsible use in accordance with CDC guidance, U.S. Coast Guard requirements, and local regulations. More information on the response from NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries can be found on

Skip to main content
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary National Marine Sanctuaries Home Page National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Home Page

NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada

ShimadaNational 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.

Visit the Bell M. Shimada's website.

Last Modified: 10/24/14