A new £24m state-of-the-art Government research ship has been officially named at Lowestoft.
The CEFAS Endeavour, which is 73 metres long, has been named at ceremony attended by the newly appointed fisheries minister Ben Bradshaw on Friday.
The ship has been built for the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science ( CEFAS ) - which is based at the Suffolk port.
Mr Bradshaw said: "We are fully committed to sustainable development within the UK, Europe and globally.
Help to improve environment
"The UK took a leading role in the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
"The CEFAS Endeavour is a tangible and massive commitment to sustainable
development of our marine and coastal regions."
Mr Bradshaw told an invited audience at the naming ceremony in Lowestoft: "Our Vision for the Seas is for a clean, healthy and safe environment."
The new ship will :
Survey the state of our fish stocks across the European Shelf.
Monitor the quality of the sea water and the effects of the numerous
Play a key role in understanding the vital processes of the sea including the currents, the production cycles, the role and significance of marine biodiversity, the many ecological interactions and fluctuations in fish stocks.
CEFAS chief executive, Peter Greg-Smith said: "This splendid new vessel is a
major boost to our capability.
Years of scientific work
"It demonstrates the importance placed on the continual development of state-of-the-art science to provide the evidence base for a variety of policies.
"We are looking forward to the next 30 years of busy scientific work on a superb platform."
CEFAS Endeavour will carry out a wide range of scientific activities.
These will include fishing with a variety of fishing gears, plankton sampling, the
deployment and recovery of seabed monitors, physical and chemical oceanographic
observations and sediment sampling.
In 2003 CEFAS Endeavour will focus on seabed mapping, environmental monitoring and monitoring fish stocks.