Seamless transition from the Southern Ocean to Research Facility

One of the most ingenious additions to the RSV Nuyina’s scientific capability is a sampling space known as the ‘wet well’. 

This unique watertight space, below the waterline of the ship, is connected to the ocean by large inlets in the hull. Water can also be piped from the moon pool and trawl deck. 

Seawater gravity-feeds into the space and on to a ‘filter table’, allowing scientists to catch krill in perfect condition as the water flows over the table. 

The krill are then transferred to a specially designed containerised aquarium for immediate study, or return to the Australian Antarctic Division’s land-based aquarium for breeding and future research. 

Work is currently underway in a joint venture between AAD and the University of Tasmania to establish a Southern Ocean research aquarium at the existing Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) site in Taroona. 

This will provide a seamless process for collection of animals via the unique wet well on the RSV Nuyina, being held in the containerised aquaria within the environmental parameters it was collected for the voyage home. In future, they can then be safely transferred to the Sothern Ocean research aquarium (SOra) for research. 

More on SOra to come… 

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