NOAA commissions new research ship

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Federal officials last week commissioned NOAA ship Bell M. Shimada, a state-of-the-art research vessel that will study a wide range of marine life and ocean conditions along the West Coast.

Bell M. Shimada's design allows for quieter operation and movement of the vessel through the water, giving scientists the ability to study fish and marine mammals without significantly altering their behavior.

The vessel is the fourth of a new class of ships designed to meet the NOAA Marine Fisheries Service's specific data collection requirements and the International Council for Exploration of the Seas' standards for a low acoustic signature.

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