Restart of at-sea operations following COVID-19 shutdown

CSIRO Marine National Facility (MNF) restarted at-sea operations of RV Investigator on 29 July with a 10-day trial and calibration voyage. This follows a four-month pause in operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health and safety of our personnel remains paramount in decision making about MNF operations. The decision to proceed with the trial and calibration voyage has been made in line with advice from our at-sea healthcare provider, and with consideration of state and national guidelines. As part of a Restart Management Plan, ten MNF COVID-19 Protocols will apply to all activities on board, providing wide-ranging measures to safeguard the health and well-being of participants. Some of these measures include testing of all participants for COVID-19 prior to departure, cohorting of personnel to limit close contacts, maintaining physical distancing on board, daily temperature checks and ship cleaning routines, and single occupancy of all cabins.

The trial and calibration voyage will not only be calibrating the ship’s systems and instruments after a prolonged pause in port but will also be testing new ways of operating in the current pandemic. A key objective of the voyage is to test the practical implementation of the MNF COVID-19 Protocols. Based on the lessons from this voyage, CSIRO will then make a decision whether it is safe to resume science voyages.  A revised 2020-21 Voyage Schedule will be published on this site at that time.

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have significant implications for the way we work and has had a direct impact on operations of RV Investigator.

The CSIRO Marine National Facility continues to work closely with our research partners and clients to manage the disruptions to our voyage schedule from the COVID-19 pandemic. Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do at CSIRO, so we remain committed to working closely with our partners, clients and community through this difficult time and beyond.


Updated information about the restart of at-sea operations will be provided on this page and via the MNF Mailing List.

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Media contact

Mr Matt Marrison

Communication Advisor +61 3 6232 5197