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Research Vessel SHINSEI MARU

SHINSEI MARU was built as part of the "Measurements for Reconstruction in Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake" of the Japanese government, and also as a research vessel for the "Tohoku Ecosystem-Associated Marine Sciences (TEAMS)" program. Since the marine environment off Tohoku dramatically changed due to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, the TEAMS program was launched as a support network for efficiently utilizing scientific knowledge accumulated at universities and research institutions in an effort to restore the affected fishery grounds off Tohoku.
The vessel was named after its predecessor research vessel TANSEI MARU which was decommissioned in January 2013 after many years of contribution to various research activities including new development in the Tohoku region.


  • Understand the actual large-scale natural variability caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
  • Monitor the continuous change in ecosystem disturbance and the repair process of disturbed ecosystems.
  • Elucidate the mechanism of restoration and fluctuation of the ecological system.


Drastically improved Seagoing Qualities
  • Azimuth thrusters and a dynamic positioning system have been adopted so that the maneuverability and fixed-point retention capacity of the vessel could be improved spectacularly.
Well-Developed Hydro-Acoustic Equipment
  • Micrometric and real-time research into living things, resources and sea bottoms can be undertaken by use of massive acoustic equipment including a multi-beam echo-sounder for deep and shallow water, a quantitative eco-sounder, an all-round scanning sonar, a sub-bottom profiler and a transducer for sensor positioning of ocean floor crustal deformation.
  • The most-advanced acoustic positioning system has been installed so that all sorts of underwater observation equipment and unmanned search equipment can be operated from the vessel.
Main features
  • Oceanic environment observation (temperature, sea water quality, current profiler)
  • Quantitative measurements of biological resources (scientific echo sounder for fishery research applications)
  • Marine weather observation (wind direction, wind speed, humidity, atmospheric pressure, precipitation, amount of carbon dioxide, etc.)
  • Ocean floor topography (multi-beam echo-sounder)
  • Acoustic detection of subsurface layers (subbottom profiler)
  • Various works and surveys with ROV
  • Sampling of sea floor sediments (dredge, piston corer, etc.)

Principal specifications

Length 66.0 m
Beam 13.0 m
Depth 6.2 m
Draft 4.5 m
Gross tonnage 1,629 tons
Cruising speed 12 knots (13.2 knots max)
Range 6,500 nautical miles
Accommodation 41 (26 crew, 15 research personnel)
Main propulsion system 5-bladed azimuth propeller, fixed pitch propeller, and propulsion electric motors (1,300kW × 2)