Renovated marine research vessel Aranda embarks immediately on a research cruise

Renovated marine research vessel Aranda embarks immediately on a research cruise

The renovated marine research vessel Aranda was delivered to the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE today. The overhaul was carried out by Rauma Marine Constructions Oy at its shipyard in the city of Rauma. Next week the Aranda heads out on her first research cruise on the Baltic Sea.

“It is very important to get the Aranda back in action,” says Lea Kauppi, Director General at SYKE. “This summer has been an unpleasant reminder of how much there is still to improve in the condition of the Baltic Sea. The work carried out aboard the Aranda creates, on its part, an important knowledge base for the actions that reduce pollution, and helps focus them wisely.”

“The renovation guarantees that the Aranda is operational until the 2030s, expanding its potential in research use. With the repairs, the safety of the vessel has been improved and the environmental impact reduced,” Kauppi continues.

The Aranda was docked for renovation and remodeling in July 2017. In the refurbishment, a new block was added in the mid-section of the vessel, and both the ship stern and the after working deck were redesigned. The vessel is now some 7 metres longer than before. In addition, there is more room for research and laboratory operations, and the vessel is now equipped with completely electronic power transmission.

The vessel can now run on biodiesel all year, and it is able to work short periods on battery power only, which will not only reduce emissions but also ship’s self-noise. This is a major improvement for the marine organisms studied, and also for the research itself since it will make hydroacoustic surveys easier to perform.

The refitting of the Aranda improves its potential for marine research in cold sea areas.

“The new hull shape and renewed power transmission enable the Aranda to navigate better than before, as well as enhance its energy efficiency and ability to move in icy conditions. It is now much better equipped than before to navigate both in the Baltic Sea ice and in polar areas,” says Project Manager of the renovation Jukka Pajala from SYKE’s Marine Research Centre. The Aranda is one of the few European marine research vessels suited to Arctic conditions.

A new research cruise already next week

After the transfer of the Aranda to SYKE, the vessel will set course for Helsinki, where it will be swiftly fitted for its first research cruise. Originally, the renovation and modification work was supposed to be finished already in the spring, but in the end, the refurbishments took longer than expected.

“The pressure to get started with the research work has been strong, so the work plan of this cruise includes more than just the HELCOM monitoring. We are looking forward to our first cruise, which will first head to the Gulf of Finland and then to the Baltic Proper as well as the Gulf of Bothnia” says Juha Flinkman, Development Manager of the Aranda.

Leading Research Scientist Maiju Lehtiniemi and Senior Researcher Pekka Kotilainen will lead the first research cruise.

The research carried out during the voyage is a part of a monitoring programme by the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM), in which the hydrography, nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton, algal toxins and microlitter in seawater are monitored. In addition, wave buoys will be maintained.

Read more: What Is A Mooring Buoy?

After SYKE’s research cruise, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) will conduct research on the renovated Aranda.Later in the autumn the Natural Resources Institute Finland will use the Aranda to carry out regular inventories of the Baltic Sea fish populations.

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