The construction of a floating marine research facility called SeaOrbiter is due to begin by May next year
A new floating marine research facility which will study ecosystems and fish levels has been designed by French architect Jacques Rougerie.
Construction on the aquatic lab SeaOrbiter is due to begin by May 2014.
Almost two-thirds of the 170ft tall ship will sit underwater, allowing marine biologists on board to study ecosystems and fish levels at great depths.
The craft, which weighs 1,000 tonnes, will be powered by wind, wave and solar energy.
Between 18 and 22 marine biologists will be able to live on the ship at any one time as the vessel comes with living quarters and kitchens.
According to the French architect, the SeaOrbiter will additionally feature a “fish-collection system for studies of the pelagic ecosystem, plankton biodiversity, and fish stocks.”
Mr Rougerie developed the concept of the ocean lab around 12 years ago and the project will cost $52.7 million.
“SeaOrbiter is the only vessel in the world allowing a 24-hour exploration on long-term missions of the open sea and the abyss,” Rougerie said.