Activities of the French Oceanographic Fleet

Every year the fleet undertakes an average of forty deep-sea cruises and approximately fifty coastal cruises.

Statistics compiled in recent years on the use of the ocean-going fleet show that the scientific activities of the ocean-going ships (including the associated logistics and passages) average 570 days per year, while naval and public service missions amount to about 320 days per year. Other activities include cooperation with industry and research, refits and sea trials, and the logistical activities of the Marion Dufresne operated by France’s Antarctic Overseas Territories (excluding oceanographic research). Excluding cruises to assess fish stocks, the sea time for deep-sea vessels dedicated to scientific research is distributed on average as follows:

  • Physics and Biogeochemistry: 35%
  • Biology – Ecosystems: 21%
  • Geosciences – Palaeoclimatology: 44%

The coastal fleet is for the most part devoted to scientific research (averaging approximately 1,200 days per year, including associated passages and logistics), but includes some fish stock surveying as part of the data collection framework (DCF) carried out by IFREMER. Sea time dedicated to scientific research is distributed on average as follows:

  • Physics and Biogeochemistry: 25%
  • Biology – Ecosystems: 52%
  • Geosciences – Palaeoclimatology: 23%

A capacity for deployment across all oceans