NOAA Ship Albatross IV was built by the Southern Shipbuilding Company in Slidell, Louisiana. Commissioned on May 9, 1963, the ship conducted fishery and living marine resource research in support of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's Northeast Fisheries Science Center. The ship's normal operating area was in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and the continental shelf and slope from Southern New England to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The ship’s typical assessment work included groundfish surveys and ecosystem monitoring surveys. Research conducted from Albatross IV provided an understanding of the physical and biological processes that control year-class strength of key economical fish, shellfish and zooplankton species.