Home Sciences The CSIC begins the construction of the largest oceanographic vessel in Spain

The CSIC begins the construction of the largest oceanographic vessel in Spain


The Higher Council for Scientific Research has begun construction of the new research vessel for the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC), which will bear the name of its founder: Odón de Buen. its almost 85 meters long and 18 meters wide make it the largest oceanographic research vessel in the Spanish fleet. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, the Odón de Buen pIt will allow the study of ecosystems, habitats and sea beds in all the world’s oceans, including the polar areas, and at depths greater than 6,000 meters.

The Minister of Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, visited this week, together with Javier Ruiz, director of the IEO-CSIC, the facilities of the Armón shipyard in Vigo, where construction has begun on this multipurpose oceanographic ship with a global scope, which It will be the flagship of the Spanish scientific fleet. During her visit, Morant announced that the ship will be baptized with the name of the founder of the IEO and pioneer of oceanography in Europe: Odón de Buen.

This project has a approximate investment of 85 million euros, with 80% of the total provided through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and is expected to be completed in less than three years. Once built, the Odón de Buen will become the largest oceanographic vessel in Spain with 84.3 meters in length and 17.8 meters in beam. It will have the capacity to accommodate 58 passengers and its autonomy will be about 50 days of navigation.

The vessel is specially designed to be silent, a fundamental aspect both for observing the ocean, producing the minimum impact and disturbance to marine organisms, and for working with scientific echo sounders. Furthermore, the project It has the most advanced systems to respect the environment through tools to prevent fuel spills, to control gas emissions into the atmosphere or to use gas as fuel.

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Its scientific equipment stands out for being at the forefront of technology through echo sounders, both for the study of the seabed and for fisheries; unmanned, remotely operated or autonomous vehicles; sampling systems, dredgers and 500 mtwo from laboratory.

In addition, due to its enormous storage and its great capacity for transporting containers on deck, it will have a great capacity for logistical support, which will allow the Odón de Buen to serve as an exchange platform with the Antarctic bases while carrying out its research in this region. .

Avant-garde Spanish oceanography

The work of the IEO in the study of marine protected areas and vulnerable habitats in recent years has contributed to the commitment reached by Spain to protect more than 10% of its maritime territories. The oceanographic vessel Odón de Buen will reinforce these studies by allow exploration of the seabed located at a depth of 6,000 meters, which includes all the waters under Spanish jurisdiction.

In addition, its characteristics will allow these investigations to be transferred to international waters at any latitude and thus comply with the United Nations commitment to protect marine biodiversity in areas located outside the national sphere.

The experience of the IEO is based, in part, on the work carried out by the oceanographic research vessels Angeles Alvariño and Ramón Margalef, which were built just over 10 years ago with Spanish design and technology. Their scientific work has caused that they are currently considered a model to follow worldwide for the construction of a new generation of oceanographic vessels.

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The successful design of these ships has contributed to the development of the shipbuilding sector, placing Spain as the second country in the European Union and the tenth worldwide in contracted or delivered units. “This is a good example of how investment in science, even in areas where it is not obvious, such as the study of marine biodiversity, has a direct and positive impact on the industrial fabric,” says Javier Ruiz.

The founder of the IEO, Odon de Buen

Odón de Buen y del Cos, born in Zuera (Zaragoza) in 1863, was a Spanish naturalist who is considered the promoter of oceanography in Spain. and one of the pioneers of this science in Europe. In 1885, after finishing his studies in natural sciences at the University of Madrid, he was selected to participate in an expedition that would mark his career: a campaign aboard the frigate Blanca through northern Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa in which would forge his oceanographic vocation.

After this trip, in 1889, he obtained the chair of Zoology at the University of Barcelona, ​​where he reformed science teaching and introduced Darwin’s theory of evolution in Spain. A few years later, in 1906, he inaugurated the Marine Biological Laboratory in Porto Pi (Majorca) and a similar facility in Malaga. These laboratories, together with the integration of the Santander Biological Station, served Odón de Buen to found the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in 1914 and definitively promote marine research in Spain.

In 1942 he went into exile in Mexico, where he died three years later at the age of 82. In 2003 his remains were transferred to Spain, specifically to his hometown.


Environment section contact: crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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