Last month the The RRS Discovery, the most advanced research ship was launched in Southampton.
At £75 million it is one of the most expensive research ships ever commissioned. It measures at just over 100 metres long, with seven main laboratories and a bridge like the Starship Enterprise! It has just begun expeditions around the British Isles, currently examining the UK’s continental shelf, a band of sea floor around 50m-100m deep.
“These shelves are really very important,” says Dr Sanders from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton. “There is a lot going on in the shelf seas and we need to understand how they work so we can safeguard their future.”