RV Islândia off Cape Verde.

Image of the month: March 2018

RV Islândia—From a fishing boat to a small research vessel

Our image of the month of March shows the "RV Islândia". Originally built in 1993 as a fishing boat for trawling in Iceland, the Icelandic government later donated the ship to the Republic of Cape Verde. It is now used by the National Cape Verde Fisheries Research Institute INDP.

In order to meet the requirements of modern research the ship was modified in 2007. To support scientific work on board, a container with a small laboratory was installed on deck and a new winch was mounted on the stern of the ship. Since 2008, the ship has been an indispensable part in ensuring regular measurements at the Cape Verde Ocean Observatory (CVOO) time series station north of the island of São Vicente.

The “Islândia” has been part of various field studies around the Cape Verde Islands. As a smaller research vessel, RV Islândia will continue to be used in the future to collect samples from the CVOO station, which can then be analyzed in the laboratory at Ocean Science Center Mindelo (OSCM). The data provide important information about  changes in the ecosystem off West Africa.

A state-of-the-art echosounder system has also recently been installed at Islândia, allowing Cape Verdeanl scientists to further investigate regional fish stocks. Thus, the influence of global climate change on fish stocks off West Africa can be examined in more detail in the future with Islândia. The study of fish stocks is of particular interest to the West African island state of Cape Verde, as many of its inhabitants depend on fishing. If the fish disappear, many people would loose their food and economic basis.

More information on RV Islândia and the CVOO can be found on www.cvoo.de

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