RV Belgica
Core Data
Hosting Legal Entity
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Rue Vautier 29, Bruxelles, PO: 1000 (Belgium)
rue vautier 29, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels, PO: 1000 (Belgium)
Type Of RI
Coordinating Country
Current Status:
Operational since 1984
Scientific Description
Mission and objectives
The research vessel Belgica belongs to the Belgian State and falls under the responsibility of Belgian Science Policy. The ship (including budget) and its scientific equipment are managed by RBINS-OD Nature, which is also responsible for planning and organizing scientific campaigns at sea. The Belgian navy provides the crew and takes care of the operational aspects as well as the home port in Zeebrugge. This all-purpose 50m research vessel, which spends around 200 days a year at sea, both monitors the quality of the marine environment and undertakes numerous expeditions for scientific research.The RV Belgica monitors the quality of the North Sea by constantly collecting all sorts of data on the biological, chemical, physical, geological and hydrodynamic processes. In addition, the ship is a floating laboratory for researchers from the universities and scientific institutes of Belgium in their quest for a better understanding of the structure and working of the ecosystem of the North Sea.Thanks to its all-purpose nature and special equipment together with its versatile oceanographic instruments, the RV Belgica not only meets the needs of the Belgian teams working in the field of marine sciences, but also those of foreign teams with whom there is close co-operation in the context of European research program.However, the scientific activities on board can suddenly take a totally different turn. As soon as reports come in of a shipwreck involving a dangerous load or an oil spill, the RV Belgica changes course immediately if necessary and makes its way to the site of the catastrophe. In this case, its task is primarily to examine the impact of the incident on the sea environment by taking regular water samples and measurements. If necessary, the scientists, students and technicians make way for experts in the relevant field. In the meantime, the RBINS-OD Nature modellers examine the spread of the products harmful to the marine environment using mathematical models.

RI Keywords
Research ship, BELSPO, RBINS-OD Nature, Belgium, Multidisciplinary
RI Category
In situ Marine/Freshwater Observatories
Scientific Domain
Earth and Environmental Sciences
ESFRI Domain
Monitoring of the marine environment

Monitoring of sand exctraction, wind mill farms, sea-water quality, dumping sites, etc.

Marine research

Fishery; geology; biology; chemistry; education.

RV Belgica equipment


Additional Data
New operational steps towards an alliance of European research fleets (EUROFLEETS2)
European Research Vessels Operators (ERVO)
Towards an Alliance of European Research Fleets (EUROFLEETS)