A new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration survey vessel named after a prominent La Jolla oceanographer is scheduled to be commissioned Friday.

The 208-foot, $75 million research ship Reuben Lasker. Photo courtesy NOAA
The 208-foot, $75 million research ship Reuben Lasker. Photo courtesy NOAA

The NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker, based in San Diego, will collect data on fish and marine mammals in the eastern Pacific.

NOAA said the 208-foot, $75 million Lasker is equipped with the latest technology for fisheries and oceanographic research, including advanced navigation systems, acoustic sensors and scientific sampling gear.

The fifth in a series of new research vessels will primarily support fish, marine mammal and turtle surveys off the West Coast of the United States and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, according to the agency. Data collected by the ship will be used for science-based conservation and management of living marine resources.

A major advantage of the new ship is that its quiet operations will not cause a reaction to the fish being studied, according to NOAA. It will also lower the signal-to-noise ratio of acoustic sensors.

The late Reuben Lasker was an adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla who served as the director of the Southwest Fisheries Science Center‘s Coastal Fisheries Division.

NOAA said he built a renowned research group that focused on how young fish survive into adulthood.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.