NOAA Ships of the Pacific Islands Fleet
Our fleet of ships range from large, oceanographic research vessels capable of exploring the deep ocean to small boats for coastal studies in nearshore waters.
NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette
NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette is named after pioneering fisheries scientist, Dr. Oscar Elton Sette, who served as the first director of the Honolulu Laboratory—now the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center. Originally built for the U.S. Navy, the 224-foot ship now supports research surveys for fisheries, physical and chemical oceanography, marine mammals, sea turtles, marine debris, and coral reefs throughout the central and western Pacific. The Sette is versatile and capable of deploying many different types of gear from surface trawls and underwater camera systems to conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) instruments and hydrophones (underwater microphones).
NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai (decommissioned)
Formerly a U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessel, NOAA commissioned the Hi‘ialakai to our fleet in 2004. The name Hi‘ialakai means "embracing pathways to the sea" in Hawaiian. The Hi‘ialakai supported coral reef ecosystem assessment and mapping, reef fish and bottomfish surveys, as well as Hawaiian monk seal and sea turtle population assessments. The 224-foot ship was a frequent visitor to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the Papahānaumokuāea Marine National Monument, where the vessel supported thousands of dives for underwater research that is vital to understanding and protecting this remote region. In addition to NOAA projects, Hi‘ialakai provided a research platform for partnerships with the University of Hawai‘i, State of Hawai‘i, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The ship was decommissioned on December 15, 2020.