News » Launch of ACEP Coastal Platform & ROV

DG of DST, Dr Phil Mjwara, cuts the ribbon to unveil uKwabelana (Video clip)
In line with the mandate for National Research Facilities to provide world-class research infrstructure, in 2009 funding was made available by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for SAIAB's flagship off-shore marine research programme, the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) to acquire a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and a coastal research platform (large ski-boat). The new 13 m Research Vessel, Ukwabelana, which means 'to share' in isiXhosa, is based in Port Elizabeth. She was put into service on 30 September 2009 from Port Alfred and was officially launched by the Director General of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Dr Phil Mjwara, at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Port Elizabeth on 25 March 2010.

Marking the occasion ACEP, the SAEON Elwandle Node which is hosted by SAIAB in Grahamstown and ACEP's major international partner in marine research exploration, the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project (ASCLME), also hosted by SAIAB, held a combined presentation and open day.

After the launch the ROV constituted part of SAIAB's International Year of Biodiversity 2010 display at Scifest Africa in the Thomas Pringle Hall at the Monument in Grahamstown from 26-31 March and drew much interest from the public.
The ROV which will be deployed from uKwabelana

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