The was a significant retirement within the oceanography community at Oregon State University recently. After some 36 years, the research vessel Wecoma passed out of service. It joins a long and illustrious list of vessels that have researched the ocean off Oregon, starting in 1888, when the U.S. Fish Commission sent its research ship, the Albatross, to conduct investigations.
The Wecoma was launched in 1976, part of a wave of government investment in American fisheries. Congress has just passed the 200-mile limit bill, creating the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEC) off the East and West Coast. It was a time of enormous optimism for the fishing industry, but for the science community as well. To catch a glimpse of that excitement, here’s a link to a talk at the decommissioning ceremony by Dr. Rick Spinrad.