Belgica has contributed to the development and international influence of the Belgian marine scientific research and remains an indispensable platform for the Belgian research community. Because the ship has reached its maximum service life, there is required a structural solution to replace the vessel. It was built in 1984 and Queen Fabiola baptized the ship. Meanwhile, the Belgica has already 900,000 nautical miles on the clock.
The A962 Belgica is a research vessel of the Belgian government manned by navy personnel. The Belgica monitors the quality of the seawater and conducts scientific research at sea.
The ship has as main objective to study the flora and fauna in the North Sea. The laboratory aboard collects about biological, chemical, physical and geological data for the Belgian universities and government agencies. The Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research Flemish government Belgica provide important information on the stock estimates of commercial fish species and human disturbance of the marine environment. Also, oil slicks bring the researchers mapped.
The crew of the Belgica consists of fifteen scientists and fifteen soldiers. The ship's motto is: Pro Scientia et mare (For science and the sea).