Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, 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 towards 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 seafloor. High-definition data is collected to produce detailed nautical charts that improve marine safety. Nautical charts are the roadmaps for Canada’s navigable waterways. They provide mariners with the information necessary to establish sailing routes and facilitate safe passage.

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 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.