Canada invests in new patrol vessels for fisheries enforcement
Canada announced it is building four new patrol vessels for its conservation and protection programs, to replace four aging vessels.
Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) said the new vessels will allow the department to increase the capacity of its fishery officers to conduct enforcement operations. The new vessels, measuring 44 feet in length, will be built by Samson Enterprises through a CAD 5.4 million (USD 4 million, EUR 3.6 million) contract, announced in a release.
“Fishery officers are at the front line when it comes to protecting our marine ecosystems and habitats. We are committed to providing them with the right equipment, like these new small crafts, so they can do their conservation and protection work properly and safely,” Canada Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Diane Lebouthillier said.
Lebouthillier was recently named minister, making the announcement one of the first actions taken under her leadership.
According to the DFO, the new vessels will be delivered to areas of Atlantic Canada. The first two patrol vessels are scheduled for delivery in fall 2023 in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The remaining two will be delivered to the conservation and protection team in Atlantic Canada and are slated for delivery in spring 2024.
DFO said the new vessels will allow its fishery officers to conduct more enforcement operations relating to fishing, retrieve more fishing gear – including lost or discarded “ghost gear” – and monitor whales and other species of concern in the Atlantic Canada region.
Funding for the four vessels is from the Small Craft Acquisition Program, which mandates the DFO replace its aging small craft fleet over the next 25 years. The design of the new vessels, DFO said, was influenced by its fishery officers, who added specifications to address specific issues of need.
“I’m proud to say that these 44-foot vessels are Canadian-made, creating good jobs right here in Cape Breton and in support of our hard-working officers in uniform. These small crafts will help strengthen the ability of fishery officers to protect our valuable marine resources for future generations,” Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Mike Kelloway said.
Samson Enterprises Office Manager Rachelle Samson said the project will benefit the company and the region where the boats will be built, in Eastern Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
“As a homegrown boat builder, we are deeply committed to investing in our community and providing employment opportunities for skilled workers in the marine industry. This project will create a ripple effect, benefiting suppliers, manufacturers, and various supporting businesses in the region,” Samson said. “We see it as a testament to our team's expertise and dedication, and we are fully committed to delivering vessels that exceed expectations, ensuring the Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reliable, top-notch assets to protect and preserve our marine resources.”
Photo courtesy of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada