Environment & Life Sciences

AlMostakshif and Bahith 1 Research Vessels

The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) is establishing an excellence research centre entitled “National Unit for Oceanography and Marine Resources Management” for conducting research on oceanography, fisheries, and marine resources management. The establishment of this center is a development project under supervision of the General Secretariat of Supreme Council for Planning and Development. The implementation of the development plan that outlines Strategic Development Objectives is in accordance with the vision of his Highness the Amir, to transform Kuwait into a financial and economical hub under the Kuwait Vision for 2035 (“New Kuwait”). The plan takes into consideration 17 major sustainable development goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations. One SDG in particular, “Life under the Sea”, targets conservation and sustainability of oceans and sea resources.

The centre contains specialized laboratories in different research disciplines of oceanography and fisheries. Additionally, high quality equipment and two modern research vessels (RVs) are included in the centre’s resources, as follows:

“AlMostakshif”, a large multipurpose research vessel capable of conducting high quality surveys and sampling over a wide range of geographical ranges including all marine areas in the Arabian Gulf, Sea of Oman, and the Arabian Sea.

“Bahith 1”, a small research vessel designed for undertaking daily oceanographic surveys in marine coastal areas.

The two RVs complement the research centre laboratories to accomplish its tasks through conducting different sea surveys and undertaking high quality technical research.  The RVs will attract international collaborative research related to the marine environment and assist greatly in developing the capabilities and expertise of national and regional researchers.

Kuwait is well known in the Middle East region for its research on oceanography, fisheries management, and marine conservation. KISR has played an active role towards sustainability of marine resources as part of food security, conservation of biodiversity and resilience of the marine environment. KISR also assists the government in formulating management policies for sustainable exploitation of marine resources.

Preparation of technical specifications and general layouts for the RVs were accomplished in cooperation with international consultancy offices experienced in building research vessels and  KISR researchers in the Ecosystem–based Management of Marine Resources (EBMMR) research program. The RV technical specifications and onboard laboratory equipment was prepared and reviewed in accordance with long-term strategic research requirements, which include collaborative research projects with the other countries bordering the Arabian Gulf. These cooperative research works will have regional and international significance, with the following proposed research objectives:

Conservation of marine sustainability resources as an important issue for food security.

Biodiversity conservation and environment resilience.

Assessment of marine environment dynamics.

Study of climate change and its impacts on marine ecosystems.

Assessment of harmful algal blooms (HAB) and their impact on marine resources and coastal activities.

Formulation of management policies for marine resources conservation and sustainability.

Establishment of important databases to be used nationally and internationally.

AlMostakshif RV:

Construction took approximately two years and was done in the shipyard of the Freire Company in Spain, under supervision of World Class Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and a United Kingdom-based consultancy office. AlMostakshif is considered the most modern RV in the Middle East that includes high quality technical research capabilities and modern technologies.  

AlMostakshif Specifcations:

Length: 55.58m

Breadth: 12.0m

Construction Material: Steel

Air draft: 25m

Gross tonnage: 1489 tons

Endurance: 18 days

Maximum speed: 14 nautical miles

Cruising speed: 12.5 nautical miles

Fuel capacity: 356 m3 

Engines: 2 x Wartsila 9L20 1764KW and 1000 rpm with 2 propellers.


AlMostakshif RV contains seven laboratories that include chemistry, biology, acoustics, fish, fish processing, and diving to serve oceanography (biological, chemical and physical), fisheries, and habitat surveys. It also contains eight scientific winches, three cranes, and three hydraulic frames for deployment of equipment. The following equipment is included: side-scan sonar, multibeam echosounder for topographic sea bottom surveys, multibeam fishing echosounder, and a dynamic positioning system. It can accommodate a crew of up to 15 individuals and up to 14 researchers. All facilities as well as modern navigation and communication systems are included to facilitate researchers to undertake all types of survey cruises.


Bahith 1 RV:

 Construction was undertaken by SafeHaven Marine Limited in the Republic of Ireland in 2015.

Bahith 1 RV Specifications:

Total length: 16.5 m

Breadth 6.4 m

Air Draft 1.1 m

Gross tonnage: 35.3 tons

Fuel capacity: 3 m3

Maximum speed: 28 knots.


It can accommodate up to 12 individuals and is equipped with all facilities as well as modern navigation and communication systems to facilitate researchers in their undertaking of all types of survey cruises.

Both RVs will be available to serve all of Kuwait’s governmental institutions that conduct research on the marine environment, as well as regional cooperative research projects involving the other Arabian Gulf states.

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