Through funding from the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) has built up a marine research platform comprised of state of the art equipment. ACEP makes available and facilitates the use of this equipment for projects among partnering researchers and institutions from around South Africa on a competitive open call basis, which is re-advertised every three years.
The SAIAB Marine Platform is a suite of cutting-edge research infrastructure that is not typically affordable for individual projects or institutions. The infrastructure is managed and operated by a dedicated team of technicians and instrument scientists at SAIAB, who not only provide technical support, but also training and academic support in their fields of expertise. The platforms are made available to the broader research community, primarily through the competitive ACEP Open Call.
The platform is currently made up of the following infrastructure:
• Coastal Craft Platform (3 x 13-15m Coastal research vessels)
• Marine Remote Imagery Platform (Seaeye Falcon ROV, Stereo Baited Remote Video Systems, and Deep-water Landers)
• Geophysics Mapping Platform (Multi-beam echo sounder and dedicated vessel)
• Acoustic Tracking Array Platform (National telemetry network)
*ACEP Marine Platforms Manager, Ryan Palmer