RV "Johan Hjort" is named after the first IMR director and one of the founders of ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea), Johan Hjort (1869–1948).
This is the fourth in a row of research vessels with this name. The vessel was built in 1990 at Flekkefjord Slipp & Maskinfabrikk AS.
"Johan Hjort" is equipped for fisheries and environmental research and operates mainly in the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone. The equipment includes advanced acoustic instruments for fish detection and echo integration and gear for operating various types of bottom and mid water trawls, various types of plankton samplers, CTD and other lowering probes and water samplers for environmental observation.
In 1995, "Johan Hjort" was fitted with a dropkel containing the echo-sounder and sonar transducers. This set-up works so well that good acoustic measurements can be made even in heavy gales.