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The NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter primarily serves the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), assisting NMFS in accomplishing its responsibilities for conserving and managing our Nation's living marine resources. The ship's homeport is located at the NMFS Pascagoula Laboratory in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Gordon Gunter operates primarily in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea. The ship conducts scientific surveys of the health and abundance of fishery resources and marine mammals. The vessel is operated by NOAA Marine and Aviation Operations.

The Gordon Gunter accomplishes its mission by collecting sophisticated information on commercial and recreational species of fish, the ocean environment and the habitat. In addition, as an acoustically quieted research ship, it serves as an excellent platform for the study and observation of marine mammals.

Gordon Gunter was originally built as the U.S. Naval Ship RELENTLESS (T-AGOS 18) in 1989 by Halter Marine in Moss Point, Mississippi. RELENTLESS was operated by the Military Sealift Command as an Ocean Surveillance Ship until her transfer to NOAA on March 17, 1993. The RELENTLESS was commissioned on August 28, 1998, in Pascagoula, Mississippi as the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter. The ship bears the prestigious name of Dr. Gordon Gunter, a pioneer in the development of marine science in the Gulf of Mexico. Dr. Gunter has dedicated his life to studying, teaching and discovering the truths of marine science in the Gulf region. He served as the first director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and was responsible for the foundation of the scientific journal, "Gulf Research Reports." For more than half a century, Dr. Gunter has been a guiding light in the study of the waters in which NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter operates.

The Gordon Gunter was converted to her present configuration, through two intense repair periods, begining in March, 1998. The ship was fit out with modern navigation electronics and oceanographic winches, sensors, and sampling equipment. A custom designed marine mammal observation and survey station was installed. Significant modifications were also made to the mission-dedicated laboratory spaces with the installation of wet, dry, chemistry, and electronic lab space equipment. Modifications were made to provide the ability to collect fisheries research data by stern trawling, longlining, deployment of various plankton nets and other types of gear. The ship was also mechanically overhauled for her return to service, including the four main diesel generators, the propulsion machinery, and all of the ship's motors, pumps, and compressors. Upon completion, the Gordon Gunter has demonstrated the economic compromise between the ideal construction of a fisheries research vessel and a low-cost conversion to a fit replacement vessel.

The Gordon Gunter will continue to serve while NOAA adds new, custom built, world class fisheries research vessels to its fleet.

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Gordon Gunter's E-mail address is:
Gordon Gunter's Mail address is:
NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter
Gulf Marine Support Facility
151 Watts Avenue
Pascagoula, MS 39567-4102

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