NOAA Ship Pisces is one of five state-of-the-art, acoustically quiet fisheries survey vessels specifically built to support NOAA projects involving on a wide range of living marine resource assessments, ecosystem research, and other oceanographic and hydrographic operations.
Pisces is a stern trawler, capable of trawling in water depths up to 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) and allowing for shrimp, midwater, and bottom trawling. Two cranes dump collected trawl nets onto the ship’s working deck where the contents can be sorted and moved to the ship’s fish laboratory for further analyses.The ship’s multibeam echo sounder can be used to collect information about the water column as well as for mapping the seafloor.
Marine mammal and seabird observation stations on board are equipped with sensors to aid researchers in identifying and tracking protected species, while the ship’s “quiet hull” design helps reduce underwater sound and any potential animal behavior changes caused by ship noise.
Homeported at NOAA's Gulf Marine Support Facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Pisces’ missions focus primarily on U.S. waters from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and South Atlantic to North Carolina. The ship is operated by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, as part of the NOAA fleet.
The ship was named Pisces – the Latin word for the plural of “fish” – by five seventh grade students from Sacred Heart School in Southaven, Mississippi. The team won a regional NOAA contest to name the ship by submitting a winning essay.
Recent Missions Supported by the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research