About 10 research vessels, such as the W.E. Ricker of Canada, Kaiyo maru of Japan, Professor Kaganovsky of Russia, and Great Pacific of the United States, are deployed annually for scientific research cruises. In many cases, the surveys are cooperative cruises with the participation of scientists from different member countries on board.
W.E. Ricker (Canada)
The vessel was built in 1978 in Muroran, Japan. Fisheries and Oceans purchased it in 1986, and converted it for fisheries research. The ship was named after Dr. William E. Ricker, chief scientist of Fisheries Research Board, who is known for developing the Ricker Model of fish population dynamics.
Kaiyo maru (Japan)
The ship was built in 1991 in Tamano, Japan (93 m length and gross tonnage 2,942) to replace the first Kaiyo maru, which was built in 1967. She is a high-tech research vessel and is equipped with advanced high performance observation systems. She has conducted many cooperative research cruises in NPAFC-related research.
Professor Kaganovsky (Russia)
The vessel was built at Volksverft, Schtralsund city, Germany in 1987 (56 m length and total tonnage 2,062 rt.). The primary survey areas of the Professor Kaganovsky are the Northwest Pacific and Russian Far Eastern Seas, including international waters. She has 5 scientific labs and supports a scientific team of 15 persons.
Great Pacific (United States)
The vessel was built in 1979 in Tacoma, Washington, as a combination crabber/trawler. Since 1991 she has targeted pollock in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Western Gulf of Alaska. First started as a charter in 1996, she has been heavily involved in NPAFC-related surveys as a salmon research vessel.