National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ship Bell M. Shimada is the fourth in the class of new fisheries survey vessels (FSV) built for NOAA by VT Halter Marine, Inc., in Moss Point, Mississippi. Bell M. Shimada is a state-of-the art research ship capable of conducting a wide variety of fisheries and oceanographic research. Foremost among these capabilities is acoustic quieting technology, which will enable NOAA scientists to monitor fish populations without altering their behavior. Bell M. Shimada supports NOAA’s mission to protect, restore, and manage the use of living marine, coastal, and ocean resources. The research done aboard aids scientists in understanding the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, a globally significant natural resource stretching from Baja California to British Columbia. Bell M. Shimada is uniquely dedicated to serve the entire West Coast of the United States. The primary objective is to monitor region’s valuable fisheries and protected species including albacore, sharks, salmon, groundfish, sardine, hake, and other coastal pelagic species. The ship also observes weather, conducts oceanographic research and habitat assessments, and surveys marine mammal and bird populations. Bell M. Shimada’s capability to conduct both fishing and oceanographic research is unique among research vessels and a value to its users.
(Excerpt from NOAA Shimada Flier PDF)  |  Official NOAA Bell M. Shimada Web Site

Hull Number -   R227
Call Sign -   WTED
Home Port -   Newport, OR
Marine Operations Center -   Pacific (MOC-P)
Regular Area of Operations -   Pacific
General Classification -   Fishery Survey Vessel (FSV)
Mailing Address

NOAA Ship Bell M Shimada 
Marine Operations Center, Pacific,
2002 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365


Contact Information

(FSV Shimada's Official NOAA Contacts Page)

 In Port  At Sea
 Cellular  CO: 541-351-1105  VOIP  541-867-8923
   OOD: 206-375-1104  Iridium  808-684-5457; code: 8816 5145 2194
 Land Line (Home Port)  541-867-8775 or 8776, 8777  Inmarsat  011-870-764-914-591
 Fax   541-867-8778  Inmarsat Fax  011-870-764-914-615


NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada (Shimada's official website) was launched at VT Halter Marine, in Pascagoula, Mississippi on September 26th, 2008, and was delivered to NOAA on February 2nd, 2010. Shimada is the final of four new Fisheries Survey Vessels built by NOAA from 2003 to 2010. The fourth vessel of its kind, the Bell M. Shimada offers fisheries scientists the ability to monitor fish populations without altering their behavior, allowing them to collect data with unprecedented accuracy. With better data, biologists and oceanographers can help managers make better management decisionsWith this dedicated vessel, we'll make a quantum leap in our capacity to study a complex ocean ecosystem and conduct multi-species assessments. ~ John Stein - Deputy Science Director, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA
NOAA R/V Bell M. Shimada

In the Pacific, the Bell M. Shimada will help scientists gain valuable insight into the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem, a globally–significant natural resource that stretches from Baja California to British Columbia. Two scientists at the Center recently described some of the way in which this vessel will enhance existing or open opportunities for new research projects. Bell M. Shimada was named by a team of students from Marina High School in Monterey, CA, who won a regional NOAA contest to name the vessel. The ship's namesake served with the Bureau of Fisheries and Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, and was known for his contributions to the study of tropical Pacific tuna stocks, which were important to the development of West Coast commercial fisheries following World War II. Bell M. Shimada's son, Allen, is a fisheries scientist with NOAA's Fisheries Service.

All vessel information courtesy of NOAA's Shimada web page.

General Information

Photo Gallery


NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada: Keel Laying to Crew Takeover (sound required)
Quicktime, Windows Media File

Mission Information

Ship Specifications

All links courtesy of NOAA Bell M. Shimada website. If any links are not working, please navigate to their official website.