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Marine Science


New fisheries research vessel for Canada

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, along with Mario Pelletier, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, have welcomed the newly-built Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CGGS) John Cabot, to the Coast Guard fleet.

The delivery of this third and final Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV), along with the acceptance of the CCGS Sir John Franklin and the CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier in 2019, marks the completion of the first class of large ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. It is a significant milestone in the renewal of the Coast Guard fleet while also supporting Canadian technological innovation, and bringing jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.

Built in Canada by Seaspan Shipyards, these ships will ensure that Fisheries and Oceans’ scientists are working with the best equipment to conduct their vital work on fishery resources, other marine species and their environments. The OFSVs will also support environmental response and search and rescue operations, helping to ensure marine safety and environmental protection which are also key components of the Government of Canada’s $1.5B Oceans Protection Plan.

The CCGS John Cabot will soon travel from the West Coast to its home base in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said:The National Shipbuilding Strategy is delivering a strong, effective fleet of ships to serve and protect Canadians for years to come. With today’s delivery of the CCGS John Cabot, we mark the completion of the first class of ships built under the Strategy and Canada’s first-ever vessels purposely designed and built for vital offshore fisheries research, science, and monitoring. Congratulations to Seaspan Shipyards, the workers who built the vessel, and to everyone who contributed to this monumental day.”

Quick facts

  • The Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) are the first class of large ships to be built by Seaspan Shipyards, as part of the non-combat package under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.The  OFSV CCGS Sir John Franklin was delivered to the Canadian Coast Guard in June, 2019 and CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier was delivered in November 2019. Both vessels are now dedicated primarily to science missions.
  • The construction of the CCGS John Cabot began in February 2017. The ship was launched in Vancouver on July 3, 2020. Its homeport is located in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. It is planned to begin science missions in April 2021.
  • The new OFSVs will replace existing Coast Guard ships on the east and west coasts of Canada and provide a modern platform for critical scientific research. These vessels will also be able to support search and rescue and environmental response functions at any time when needed.
  • The new vessels will support scientific research, through work such as:
    • performing fishing and acoustic surveys of fish and invertebrates;
    • collecting information on the abundance and distribution of marine species; and,
    • collecting data on marine ecosystems and the impacts of human activity on fisheries resources and ecosystem health.
  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy is a long-term commitment to domestic shipbuilding that is not just about building ships; it is about revitalizing and re-invigorating a world-class marine industry that supports Canadian technological innovation and brings jobs and prosperity to many communities across the country.