Press release

New CEO Rear Admiral Tom Karsten takes up the helm of UK’s leading marine science agency

Two-day showcase event for industry, taking place on Cefas Endeavour at Portland Bill, opened by new CEO Tom Karsten

New CEO Tom Karsten who joined Cefas last month, has today opened the doors of the 74 metre long research vessel the Cefas Endeavour, with a two-day showcase event for industry, taking place at Portland Bill.

Representatives from public and private sector organisations including MOD, Royal Navy and the Met Office were given a tour of the ocean-going research vessel, a first-hand demonstration of the ship’s cutting-edge marine science capability and an opportunity to meet some of Cefas’ marine scientists, who each spend up to six weeks a year undertaking scientific research and surveys for UK customers, including renewable energy, oil and gas and telecommunications sectors.

Cefas CEO Tom Karsten said:

Just four weeks into my new post, I am delighted to be able to welcome UK business on board the Endeavour. This is a rare opportunity to get a close-up view of Cefas’ purpose built research vessel, which spends up to 290 days a year at sea, specialising in survey operations for UK and international governments and private sector customers.

Cefas has been working with a number of these organisations to deliver specialised survey projects spanning the globe, including a sea bed mapping exercise in the British Virgin Islands and shipwreck analysis in St Helena. Closer to home, Cefas have been co-ordinating the collection and delivery of new data and evidence in support of the UK Government’s commitment to implement a network of Marine Protected Areas. The Cefas Endeavour has been instrumental in this huge survey exercise and has undertaken acoustic and sampling surveys at many of the 127 sites originally selected as candidate Marine Conservation Zones.

On the subject of his new post Tom Karsten added:

Cefas is entering an exciting period of development and growth and I am immensely privileged to be joining the UK’s leading marine science agency at this time. I look forward to opening our doors to a range of new sectors, both at home and internationally.

Through our leading edge science and technology, we play a major role in growing the marine and freshwater economy, creating jobs, and safeguarding food security, public health and the health of our seas. It’s a critically important role and I want more people to know about it.

Cefas Divisional Director Sian Limpenny, who has responsibility for the R/V Endeavour said:

At Cefas we make it a priority to ensure that our facilities remain up-to-date, offering the very latest scientific and technological capability. R/V Cefas Endeavour is an excellent example of this approach.

To ensure that the vessel and its broad array of scientific equipment continues to be at the forefront of technological advances, we ensure they are regularly assessed, maintained and upgraded. This means that the vessel maintains its position as a leading survey platform in the UK’s research fleet.

The vessel is a truly multidisciplinary platform and can conduct many differing and complementary survey activities at the same time. This includes fisheries surveys, seabed mapping and sampling and metocean investigations, as well as many other bespoke investigations, making her a highly cost-effective and scientifically robust method of marine data gathering.