Requests for time at sea | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

Requests for time at sea

RV Simon Stevin can be deployed in the Belgian part of the North Sea, the Western Scheldt estuary and by extension in the Southern Bight of the North Sea and the eastern part of the English Channel. The research vessel sails every workday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Every 14 days, the vessels sails an overnight trip from Tuesday till Thursday. Campaigns for longer periods are possible by mutual agreement.

The sailing schedule is drawn up half-yearly so that the needs of scientists can be meticulously catered for. In June and December VLIZ sends a request to all scientists to make their wishes regarding time at sea known. VLIZ then draws up a half-yearly programme for the July-December and January-June periods. Every year VLIZ and RBINS/OD Nature coordinate the applications for time at sea as part of the annual planning of RV Simon Stevin and RV Belgica.
VLIZ employs preferential treatment in the assignment of time at sea.

In case of requests for time at sea: complete the form.

The sailing schedule can be found here. Vacant days can still be reserved afterwards.

The planning for allocated time at sea is to be e-mailed to André Cattrijsse at least one week in advance. The planning needs to state:

  • the stations to be sampled (coordinates)
  • a detailed timetable of the activities to be carried out and the time at sea*
  • the number of embarking persons and their names. For a regular day trip only 12 persons can embark. Trips with a maximum of 20 passengers (students/pupils & accompanying persons) can be planned exceptionally. Up to 10 scientists can embark for overnight trips.

* The coordinator and the master reserve the right to propose alterations which allow to use the time at sea more efficiently in consultation with the scientist.

Good conduct charter RV Simon Stevin

The basic rules regarding the use of ship time, safety and ethical values with regard to marine research are set out in the Good Conduct Charter RV Simon Stevin (approved by the VLIZ Scientific Committee Board on 07.10.2016). Passengers aboard, whether for scientific research or educational demonstration trips, are expected to behave responsibly in accordance with this Charter.

In case of activities in foreign waters

Trips to foreign waters (incl. the Western Scheldt) require diplomatic clearance (DIPCLEAR). This needs to be requested through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a considerable time in advance. For Dutch coastal waters this procedure takes at least three months, for French coastal waters four months, and for British waters up to six months. For this reason, VLIZ also provides a tentative annual programme which enables researchers and VLIZ to prepare such campaigns.