National Research Vessel Task Team

This MEOPAR task team will collate and examine needs and opportunities across the country and provide advice on ways forward.

The availability of research vessels is critical for the ability of Canadian scientists, across all disciplines, to explore and monitor, observe and understand our country’s marine environment and vast ocean spaces. This capacity has been diminishing for decades despite a growing need for scientific information about our ocean environment.

MEOPAR, as a Network of Centres of Excellence which funds research, trains students, mobilizes knowledge and communicates results in the area of marine risk and resilience all across Canada, is very conscious of this problem. MEOPAR does not own or operate vessels of its own. We believe this allows the Network to take an objective view on what has now become a crisis for Canada’s ability to research, explore and monitor our vast ocean spaces. MEOPAR recently supported a multisectoral Task Team to examine the vessel situation for Atlantic Canada’s offshore environment. Based on this report, we concluded that a national, multisectoral dialogue is required to address this issue across the country. Such a discussion, motivated by the present very difficult situation, may uncover new opportunities for the provision of research vessel capacity that are efficient and cost-effective.

We are therefore in the process of establishing a National Research Vessel Task Team to collate and examine needs and opportunities across the country and provide advice on ways forward. We intend this to be a national dialogue where interests, needs and capacities of different disciplines and sectors (industry, government, funding agencies and academia), and different parts of the country, can be considered together, and where new ways of providing and supporting this important research capacity can be discussed and evaluated.

For more information, please see below or feel free to contact the co-chairs of the National Research Vessel Task Team, Doug Wallace (douglas.wallace@dal.ca), Doug Bancroft (bancroft@ropos.comand Melissa Anderson (melissao.anderson@utoronto.ca.)

NRVTT’s co-chairs and representatives from Amundsen Science are looking to gather information about existing France-Canada collaborations relating to research vessels. If you can contribute, please take this short survey.

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National & International Links

Next Generation: European Research Vessels, Current Status and Foreseeable Evolution, published by the European Marine Board