Present will also be the Norwegian Minister of foreign affairs, Børge Brende, and Minister of climate and environment, Vidar Helgesen, along with the Director at IMR, Sissel Rogne, and several ministers from countries participating in the EAF-Nansen Programme.
The EAF-Nansen Programme works with 32 coastal countries in Africa to help them obtain detailed information on their marine resources.
- Norway has build one of the most advanced research vessels in the world as part of an ongoing project with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to support developing countries improve the management of their fisheries.
The new $80 million research vessel Dr Fridtjof Nansen will replace an older craft of the same name that has been navigating the coast of Africa since 1993, carrying out in-depth research into the state of the continent's marine ecosystems for the EAF-Nansen Programme, the latest phase of a unique 40-year programme.
Scientists from the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR) and participating African countries aboard the boat use 3D imagery to map the seabed and gather vast quantities of data on fish stocks, water and sediment quality, surveying the entire ecosystem from seabirds to fish and from whales to minute plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton).
Life aboard the Dr Fridtjof Nansen can be tough, with activities carried out 24 hours a day in six hour shifts - from trawling and collecting samples to recording and analyzing data.
But conditions will improve with the new vessel, which at 70 metres long will be more spacious and even better equipped, with berths for 45 scientists, technicians and crew.
State-of-the-art equipment including a dynamic positioning system will enable it to work safely around sensitive infrastructure such as oil rigs, while a lookout compartment will be positioned on the main mast for surveys of seabirds and marine mammals.