Canada to build seven new survey vessels

The following is the text of a news release from Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

(OTTAWA) — Hunter Tootoo, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, has announced the winning bid for the procurement of seven new survey vessels for the Canadian Hydrographic Service to support the seabed surveying and charting of Canada’s navigable waters.

The contract has been awarded to Kanter Marine Inc. of St. Thomas, Ontario. The $5.3 million investment will go toward customized hydrographic survey vessels that will be outfitted with permanent state-of-the-art multibeam sonar systems to help the Canadian Hydrographic Service continue to meet rigorous international standards for hydrographic surveys.

These sonars transmit hundreds of beams of sound through the water to create 3-D images on the shape and depth of the sea floor. High-definition data is collected to produce detailed nautical charts that improve marine safety. This innovative technology also supports science efforts in fisheries and oceans management, as well as habitat, species at risk, and invasive species monitoring.

The vessels are currently expected to begin construction immediately, with production and delivery to be complete by March 2017. Fisheries and Oceans Canada expects to take receipt of the first vessel by October 2016. The new survey vessels will be located in Mont Joli, Quebec; Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; Burlington, Ontario; and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to further enhance the Canadian Hydrographic Service’s surveying capacity in Canada’s coastal waters and in major shipping waterways.

Quick facts

• Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service is comprised of experts in hydrographic surveying, marine cartography and geospatial information. Its core mandate is to conduct hydrographic surveys and to produce navigational charts, publications, data and services for Canada’s vast system of navigable waters, which contributes directly to the nation’s economic prosperity and the protection of lives, property and the marine environment.
• Nautical charts are the road maps for Canada’s navigable waterways. They provide mariners with the information necessary to establish sailing routes and facilitate safe passage.
• Once built, the seven new vessels will be added to the existing survey vessel fleet located across Canada. The new vessels will be employed to collect data in the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, in Arctic waters and on the East Coast.

“These new hydrographic survey vessels are critical investments, which will improve marine safety and allow us to deepen our scientific knowledge of our oceans and waterways. This innovative technology will help us to deliver on the government of Canada’s commitment to protect our marine environment and manage our fisheries in a sustainable way," Tootoo said.

"The awarding of this contract through a fair, open and transparent procurement process means Fisheries and Oceans Canada will have the necessary equipment to help ensure Canada's waterways are safe and accessible," said Judy Foote, minister of Public Works and Government Services.

By Professional Mariner Staff