On the 28th of October 2016, the Ministerial Council agreed to replace the research vessel RV Belgica, after a proposal by Secretary of State for Science Policy Elke Sleurs and Secretary of State for the North Sea Philippe De Backer.
The RV Belgica plays a substantial role in the Belgian marine scientific research. It was built in 1984 and has reached its maximum lifetime. That is why a structural solution for the replacement of the ship is of vital importance.
Our coast guard partner Federal Science Policy Office is the owner of the ship and puts it at the disposal of Belgian scientists wishing to carry out marine scientific research. Our coast guard partner the Belgian navy provides the crew, operational support and a berthing quay in the home port of Zeebrugge.