AdvisorsBerumen, Michael L.
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AbstractThe whale shark Rhincodon typus is the largest fish in the world. The global population of R.typus is unknown however the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) classified it as Vulnerable in 2005. To ensure a population of R.typus is maintained protection from direct fishing, by-catch and collision damage is required. To be able to enact successful protection the habitat and range of R.typus must be known. Many authors have conducted studies of R.typus in a variety of different locations and many more have reported sightings. In many locations R.typus consistently appear annually and many authors have hypothesised reasons for their appearance. What is not known however is whether these populations are isolated or inter-linked, and where these populations go when they are not at known sites. The aim of this thesis was to design the body of a vessel that could house the electronics and components designed to track an acoustic tag, survive in open ocean, and travel fast enough to keep up with R.typus allowing a long-term and high resolution track to be compiled. In order to design such a vessel many factors needed to be known. A large part of this thesis is a review of literature to conclude the most appropriate type of vessel, the average speed of R.typus, hence the required speed of the vessel, and the sea state of the Red Sea, hence the conditions the vessel would be required to survive in. It was concluded that the average speed of R.typus is 1.2 knots; the Red Sea reaches Sea State 5-6; and the most appropriate hull type for this project was a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull (SWATH). After following a design iteration process, a final design was completed that it is believed will achieve all the required objectives.