Secretary of State Tommelein Visits RV Belgica

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Secretary of State Tommelein on board of RV Belgica (photo: RBINS)
11/07/2015
Secretary of State Tommelein Visits RV Belgica
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The Secretary of State for the North Sea, Bart Tommelein, visited the oceanographic vessel RV Belgica, on the 10th of July 2015. He wanted to see how oceanographic research is conducted during a one day trip.

Mr Tommelein, the Secretary of State, spent the day on board the RV Belgica (from 8.45am-3.30pm). He was joined by scientists from three different institutes (RBINS, Laboratoire Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer, and the Joint Research Center (EC)). They made optical measurements and took water samples during the journey to the C-Power wind farm. The data collected is necessary for improving the use of satellite images in marine research (known as project HIGHROC).

The Belgica is an essential tool for Belgian and international marine researchers. The vessel is available for use by the majority of Belgian universities and scientific institutes (including ours) that carry out different studies to better understand the sea. It is also used in tasks related to marine environmental protection and as such patrols the North Sea 175 days and 105 nights a year. The Belgica belongs to the SPF Science Policy, but the RBINS OD Natural Environment manages the vessel and provides scientific equipment. It is also responsible for the planning and organising of research trips. The SPF Defence supplies the crew, operational management and the mooring in Zeebrugge.

The Secretary of State was happy to see the excellent cooperation between the Defence and Science Policy governmental departments and our Institute; the collaboration is vital for the responsible management of the North Sea. No doubt, the Belgica will crop up in future conversations with his colleague, the Secretary of State for Science Policy, Elke Sleurs. 

Click on the image for more photos.

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