The Dr Fridtjof Nansen research vessel, flying the UN flag, will work with Thai fisheries officials for two weeks.
Adisorn Promthep, director-general of the Department of Fisheries, said the arrival of the vessel in Phuket reflected the strong cooperation between Thailand and the FAO in pressing ahead with the implementation of sustainable fisheries management.
“The survey will offer a unique tool for researchers in Thailand to study how climatic events and pollution are affecting marine resources and ecosystems, particularly in the Andaman Sea, while providing information in support of improved management of deep-sea fisheries,” he said.
The vessel arrived in Phuket on Saturday (Sept 29), marking the final leg of its 2018 Africa-Asia regional research tour.
The research, carried out under the EAF-Nansen Program, was initiated by the FAO in close collaboration with the Institute of Marine Research of Bergen, Norway and through funding from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.
“The FAO is committed to the EAF-Nansen Program because it aims to support the implementation of an ecocentric approach in the management of fisheries and the sustainable utilisation of marine resources,” said Kim Jong-jing, FAO Deputy Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific.
“This work helps FAO member countries to better use their marine resources and improve knowledge of their marine environment. It also provides scientists and students opportunities for knowledge sharing on ocean issues.”
The Dr Fridtjof Nansen has been examining the world’s oceans using cutting-edge technology and sophisticated equipment.
Its objective is to assemble scientific data critical to sustainable fisheries management while studying the impacts of pollution and climate variability on the ocean. Over the years, the vessel has carried out surveys in the territorial waters of more than 60 countries worldwide.
This year, the Dr Fridtjof Nansen kicked off its nine-month expedition in January, setting off from the coast of East Africa.
The vessel travelled across the Western Indian Ocean and continued to the Bay of Bengal, conducting research off the coasts of South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar prior to its arrival in Phuket – the final destination.
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