In March 2017 the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung, BLE) signed a contract with Damen Shipyards Group for the construction of a Fisheries Research Vessel.
The contract followed the successful result of a European tendering process, realized by the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau, BAW).
With the vessel, to be called Walther Herwig, the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) will support Germany’s fisheries and oceanographic research programmes. Damen will construct Walther Herwig to the highest levels of scientific and environmental standards.
Measuring 85m x 17.40m, Walther Herwig will be the largest vessel in the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s fleet. Such dimensions will allow for accommodation for 26 crew and 26 scientists.
In terms of scientific facilities and equipment, the vessel will be outfitted with two hangars, wet and dry laboratory areas and trawling gear for both demersal and pelagic fisheries research. For physical and biological oceanographic studies, the vessel’s scientific teams will be able to utilise winches capable of relaying equipment to depths of up to 6,000 metres.
Walther Herwig will be built at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania to a design that has been finalised in cooperation with Norwegian ship designers Skipsteknisk. The expected delivery is January 2020.