NOAAS Reuben Lasker is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fishery research vessel. The ship's namesake, Reuben Lasker, was a fisheries biologist who served with the Southwest Fisheries Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, and taught at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Capable of conducting multidisciplinary oceanographic operations in support of biological, chemical, and physical process studies, Reuben Lasker was commissioned as the fifth of a class of five of the most advanced fisheries research vessels in the world, with a unique capability to conduct both fishing and oceanographic research. She is a stern trawler with fishing capabilities similar to those of commercial fishing vessels. She is rigged for longlining and trap fishing and can conduct trawling operations to depths of 3,500 meters (11,483 feet). Her most advanced feature is the incorporation of United States Navy-type acoustic quieting technology to enable NOAA scientists to monitor fish populations without the ship's noise altering the behavior of the fish, including advanced quieting features incorporated into her machinery, equipment, and propeller. Her oceanographic hydrophones are mounted on a retractable centerboard, or drop keel, that lowers scientific transducers away from the region of hull-generated flow noise, enhancing the quality of the data collected. To take full advantage of these advanced data-gathering capabilities, she has the Scientific Sonar System, which can accurately measure the biomass of fish in a survey area. She also has an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler with which to collect data on ocean currents and a multibeam sonar system that provides information on the content of the water column and on the type and topography of the seafloor while she is underway, and she can gather hydrographic data at any speed up to 11 knots (20 km/hr).