John N. Cobb
NOAA Ship John N. Cobb was built by the Western Boatbuilding Company in Tacoma, Washington. Commissioned on February 18, 1950, the ship conducted fishery and living marine resource research in Southeast Alaska and in the U.S. Pacific coast, supporting the research of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau, Alaska.
The ship collected fish and crustaceans using trawls and benthic longlines, fish larvae and eggs, and plankton using plankton nets and surface and midwater larval nets. John N. Cobb was capable of conducting bottom trawls—a fishing practice that herds and captures target species by towing a net along the ocean floor—down to depths of over 300 fathoms (1,800 ft.). Marine mammal surveys of whales, porpoise, and seals were also conducted aboard the ship by scientists from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, Washington. John N. Cobb's homeport was at the Marine Operations Center—Pacific, in Seattle, Washington.
John N. Cobb was the oldest commissioned research ship in the NOAA fleet. It was built in 1950 with a wooden hull, similar to the Pacific trawler designs of that time. The ship was named after John N. Cobb, an early fisheries researcher and the first dean of the University of Washington School of Fisheries.