The RV Dr Fridtjof Nansen in the Western Indian Ocean: voyages of marine research and capacity development. [1975-2016]Marine scientists and oceanographers from many countries have cooperated on research in the Indian Ocean since the end of the 1950s. This collaboration stemmed from the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE), which evolved into a major international venture, attracting roughly 40 research vessels from 20 countries, between 1959 and 1965. Partly as a consequence of this outcome, the second session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI), in 1968, recommended the establishment of an Indian Ocean Fishery Commission (IOFC). Experience gained from the first Norwegian fisheries cooperation with the Indian State of Kerala (1952– 1972) highlighted the need – and importance – of research and trial fishing in development cooperation in fisheries. This was an area in which Norway had expertise that could be shared. In 1970 Norad offered to build a research vessel for use by the FAO Fisheries Department, with operational costs to be shared between the two parties. The research vessel (RV) Dr Fridtjof Nansen was then built, and began operations in 1975. Nine of its first ten years (1975–1984) were spent in the Indian Ocean.