The 'Odón de Buen' will be the largest oceanographic vessel in the Spanish fleet

Image of the future ship Odon de Buen. / IEO-CSIC

Science | Innovation

The new ship will be almost 85 meters long and 18 meters wide and will be able to accommodate up to 58 passengers

We will still have to wait three years to see it sail the seas, but the Higher Council for Scientific Research has already begun to build, at the Armón shipyard (Vigo), the new research vessel of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC) , which will be the largest ship of this type in the Spanish fleet: Odón de Buen.

This multipurpose vessel will be nearly 85 meters long and 18 meters wide, much larger than its predecessor, the Cornide de Saveedra, which is 67 meters long and 11 meters wide. It is a state-of-the-art vessel, with the capacity to accommodate 58 passengers and a range of 50 days of navigation, which will have state-of-the-art scientific equipment made up of echo sounders (an instrument that allows studying the seabed and detecting fish or obstacles ), aquatic drones, sampling systems, dredgers (seabed excavation equipment to collect samples from the seabed), and a 500-square-meter laboratory.

All this will allow it to study the ecosystems, habitats and seabeds in all the world's oceans, including the polar areas, and at depths greater than 6,000 metres, which includes all waters under Spanish jurisdiction. Thus, Spain will contribute, even more, to the objective of protecting its maritime territories and will comply with the European and United Nations commitment to protect marine biodiversity in areas located within and outside the national sphere.

Avant-garde Spanish oceanography

The ship is specially designed to be silent, a fundamental aspect both to observe the ocean with the minimum impact and disturbance to marine organisms and so that it does not interfere with the work with scientific echo sounders; and it will have environmentally friendly systems to reduce the carbon footprint, such as tools to prevent fuel spills or to control gas emissions into the atmosphere, among others. The project has an approximate investment of 85 million euros, of which 80% of the total is contributed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It is no less important to note that Odón de Buen will also mark a milestone in terms of interior comfort measures. «Oceanographic research vessels have always been conceived as work platforms, in which the most important were the laboratories and technical spaces. On this ship, these spaces will have excellent quality, but their habitability has also been taken into account, so that the internal comfort of the crew is the maximum possible (more living space, less internal noise, less vibrations...). In the end, they are ships that spend a lot of time at sea and, from my own experience, any campaign that lasts more than 20 days and in which there is no minimum comfort on board becomes very heavy, which has a negative impact on the capacity of work of the crew”, explains Pablo Carrera, responsible for the fleet of the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO-CSIC).

Odón de Buen draws on the experience of other regional ocean research vessels, such as the Ángeles Alvariño and the Ramón Margalef, whose design has contributed to the development of the national shipbuilding sector, placing Spain as the second country in the European Union and 10th worldwide in ships hired or delivered. "This is a good example of how investment in science, even in less obvious areas of study, such as marine biodiversity, has a direct and positive impact on the industrial fabric of our country," says Javier Ruiz.

The naturalist Odon de Buen. / royal academy of history

Who was Odon de Buen?

Odón de Buen y del Cos was born in Zuera (Zaragoza) in 1863. He 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 on natural sciences at the University of Madrid, he participated in a campaign aboard the frigate Blanca through northern Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, 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. 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 him to found, in 1914, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, 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, to his native town.

Source link