NOAA Ship Pisces was launched at VT Halter Marine, in Moss Point, Mississippi on December 19th, 2007, christened by Dr. Annette Nevin Shelby, wife of Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama. Commissioned on November 6, 2009, Pisces is the third of four new Fisheries Survey Vessels to be built by NOAA. The ship was named Pisces by a team of five seventh grade students from Sacred Heart School in Southaven, Mississippi. The team won a regional NOAA contest to name the ship by submitting a winning essay that supported their name selection.
NOAA Ship Pisces supports NOAA’s mission to protect, restore, and manage the use of living marine, coastal, and ocean resources through ecosystem-based management. Her primary objective is to study, monitor, and collect data on a wide range of sea life and ocean conditions, primarily in U.S. waters from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and South Atlantic to North Carolina. The region includes important commercial and recreational fisheries, and is one of the world’s best known and most productive marine areas. The data collected by the ship is used by scientists who study variation in ocean conditions and sea life to better inform the nation’s decision makers about such issues as sustainable fisheries, ecosystem structure and function, fish habitats and habitat restoration, coral reefs, and protected species status. Pisces also observes weather, sea state, and other environmental conditions, conducts habitat assessments, and survey marine mammal and marine bird populations.