Seaspan Shipyards launched Canadian Coast Guard (CCG)’s second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier. during a ceremony at its North Vancouver Shipyards (VSY) on June 5.
“The launch of the second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel represents a significant achievement for our company, our workforce and our supply chain partners. Seaspan Shipyards is proud to be Canada’s chosen long term non-combat ship building partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). We look forward to the exciting work ahead as we continue to make progress on our commitments under the NSS”, said Mark Lamarre, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan Shipyards.
“The Government of Canada congratulates Seaspan on this important milestone, the launch of the second Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel. This, in combination with other National Shipbuilding Strategy projects and the recently announced renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, represents a significant achievement. Our government is working to ensure that the women and men of the Coast Guard and our scientists have the best equipment to conduct their important work. To keep our waters safe, protect our marine and coastal environment, and keep our economy moving”, said Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
During the ceremony, the minister also announced the names of both the second and third new OFSVs being built at VSY, the CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier and CCGS John Cabot, respectively. The first vessel of the class is named CCGS Sir John Franklin.
CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier has been named in honour of the French navigator and first European to map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River. 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.
The three OFSV vessels were ordered on 19 October 2011 by the Canadian government under the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) for offshore fisheries research. The vessels are intended to replace the aging CCGS Teleost, CCGS W.E. Ricker and CCGS Alfred Needler.
The OFSVs have a length of 63.4 m (208 ft) and a displacement of 3,212 metric tons (3,161 long tons; 3,541 short tons).
The vessels feature a variety of innovative systems including high-tech fishing trawls, four laboratories and a deployable, sensor-equipped drop keel.
These vessels will be the primary offshore fisheries science platforms for Fisheries and Oceans Canada and will be equipped to carry out science research missions. These research missions will serve an important role in monitoring the health of fish stocks, understanding the impacts of climate change, and supporting research that allows us to better understand our oceans.
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.
CCGS Capt. Jacques Cartier is expected to join the fleet in late 2019 following sea trials and the vessel’s home port will be in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. 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.