Investigator at sea seen from the air


The Marine National Facility operates Australia’s only blue-water research vessel available to the Australian marine and atmospheric research community and their international collaborators for work in Australia’s vast ocean territories.

Life ring safety equipment

Safety equipment

Investigator is a new state-of-the-art research vessel

Investigator is a 93.9 metre purpose-built research vessel, capable of travelling 10,000 nautical miles in a single voyage, carrying up to 40 scientists and support staff, from the equator to the Antarctic ice-edge. The $120 million ship was completed in 2014, and will support atmospheric, oceanographic, biological and geoscience research.

Southern Surveyor was in operation from 2002-2014

Southern Surveyor was a 66 metre former North Sea fishing trawler that was retro fitted to be a research vessel that could operate throughout Australian waters, and supported research in:

  • oceanography and climatology
  • fisheries, marine ecosystem and marine environmental research 
  • a wide range of marine geoscience and
  • multi-disciplinary marine research.

Southern Surveyor was purchased by the CSIRO Division of Fisheries in 1989 and transferred to the Marine National Facility in 2002.

ORV Franklin was in operation from 1985-2000

The ocean research vessel Franklin was a purpose-built oceanographic research vessel.

Updated: 04 November 2016