The Oregon II was built in 1967 for the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, which was renamed the National Marine Fisheries Service and placed under the control of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The vessel was transferred to NOAA in 1970 during the restructuring process. At 170 feet and a beam of 36 feet, she is outfitted to serve as a double-rigged trawler, longliner, gillnetter, fish-trap hauler and dredge, allowing her to performing a wide range of fisheries-research functions. She even does marine-mammal research and shark-tagging cruises in the Gulf of Mexico from her base of operations in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Oregon II is equipped with the latest in fishing electronics and sensors, and has a complete onboard laboratory, computer room and accommodations for the staff of scientists and crew.