British research vessel Prince Madog turns 20
The research vessel, Prince Madog, celebrates 20 years in the service of education and science. Based at Bangor University in Wales, UK, the ship has changed the way we understand marine and coastal science. This vessel is an essential tool at the School of Ocean Sciences, the only one of its kind in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.
The Prince Madog is a versatile and flexible research vessel used to conduct marine research along the British coasts and in the Irish and Celtic seas. As the UK’s only fully offshore research vessel, it is widely used to train future marine scientists at Bangor University and beyond.
“As we enter into the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science this year, it is a particularly fitting time to reflect on the 20 years of magnificent service to marine research, education and training provided by the RV Prince. Madog and look forward to the important work that remains to be done over the next decade – undertaking the science we need for the ocean we want – clean, healthy, safe, productive, planned and inspiring, ”said said Professor Ed Hill, executive director of the National Oceanography Center.
Prince Madog is not only used for academic research. Other research groups and even industry and government agencies can benefit from this research vessel. In fact, the vessel is often used to collect data around the British Isles in order to help the government develop the best fishing and marine policies. In addition, the research carried out aboard the Prince Madog has influenced the program of studies of marine students from all over the world.
“Research and education aboard Prince Madog, the UK’s largest research vessel in higher education, is focused on vital coastal seas. These shallow seas are important for fishing, marine renewable energy, recreation and tourism. The vessel is capable of working in strong currents and in most weather conditions and has been custom built to undertake scientific studies across the spectrum of marine science, from coastal waters to the edge of the shelf, ”said the director of school, Professor John Turner, explaining the role of the ship.
Over the past two decades, Prince Madog has been involved in a variety of science projects. For example, the data collected with this vessel has been used to assess the impact of trawling on the seabed, and subsequent results have contributed to sustainable policies for fisheries. In addition, the ship’s high-tech sonar equipment was ideal for locating wrecks along the Welsh coast. By studying the seabed around these wrecks, the researchers were able to advise the renewable energy industry on the best locations to place wind turbines and other seabed structures. Another vital project, first developed at Bangor University, was to use seashells collected by Prince Madog to learn about past coastal climates in Europe.
“Prince Madog has been an asset to Wales, the UK and the world, both in teaching and in research. The impact of the School of Ocean Sciences research over the decades is remarkable. He changed science in a number of areas, rewrote textbooks and played an important role in supporting the sustainable and continued development of the marine environment. We look forward to many years of groundbreaking research and impact of Prince Madog’s Bridges, ”concluded Prof. Paul Spencer, Pro Vice-Chancellor.
Photo by Gareth James / RV Prince Madog at Roath Lock /