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Canada's Second New Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel Launched

CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier
CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier

By The Maritime Executive 2019-06-05 20:36:37

Canada's second of three new Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) was launched on June 5. The Canadian Coast Guard vessel was built by Seaspan's North Vancouver Shipyards under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

The OFSVs are the first class of ships to be built by Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. They will support science and research activities undertaken by Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. This includes the collection of information on the distribution, abundance, and biology of species in Canadian waters and the impacts of climate change. Although primarily focused on science research, the vessels will also have the capability to support search and rescue and environmental response operations, if required.

Canada's Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson, attended the ceremony and announced today the names of both the second and third new OFSVs being built by Seaspan: the CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and CCGS John Cabot, respectively.

The first OFSV, CCGS Sir John Franklin, was launched in December 2017, and is expected to join the Coast Guard fleet in summer 2019. The vessel’s home port will be in Patricia Bay, British Columbia.

They are 63.4 meter diesel electric drive vessels, with a displacement of approximately 3,212 tonnes and a top speed of 13 knots.

The new OFSVs will include four science labs: a wet lab, a dry lab, an ocean lab and a control lab, to support scientific research.

CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier has been named in honor of the French navigator and first European to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. The vessel’s home port will be in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and following sea trials is expected to join the fleet in late 2019.

CCGS John Cabot was named after the Italian merchant and explorer, who is the earliest known European since the Norse Vikings to explore and make landfall on the Newfoundland and Labrador coast in 1497. CCGS John Cabot is expected to join Coast Guard’s operations in summer 2020 and will be based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

In May, the Government of Canada signaled its intent to procure up to 18 new vessels for the Coast Guard from Canadian suppliers. This includes up to 16 new vessels that will be built at Seaspan in Vancouver.

With funding from the Government of Canada for the National Shipbuilding Strategy, Seaspan has significantly expanded its workforce, created a growing marine supply chain and invested over $200 million to upgrade its shipyard for the long term program of work ahead.