Canada launches final Arctic survey for continental shelf extension

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced the launch of Canada’s 2016 Arctic expedition to collect important scientific information to support Canada’s submission on the extended continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean on July 21.

The 2016 survey is intended to be the final survey in the Arctic Ocean in support of Canada’s continental shelf submission.

The next step is to analyze the data and draft the submission, which may be ready to file with the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2018.

During the 2016 Arctic Survey, bathymetric and geophysical data about the shape and composition of the seabed will be collected to help define the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean.

This year’s survey is a collaborative effort between Canada and Sweden, while Danish scientists will also participate in the research.

The Canadian icebreaker CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent will leave Dartmouth on July 22 and rendezvous with the Swedish icebreaker Oden off Svalbard, Norway, on August 9, and the two vessels will then make their way to the ice edge to begin scientific data collection, which will focus on a number of priority areas in the Arctic Ocean, including the Amundsen Basin, Lomonosov Ridge, Makarov Basin and Alpha Ridge.

On the voyage between Canada and Norway, the Canadian Hydrographic Service will undertake a seabed-mapping expedition under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. This will be the fifth such expedition, which involves Canada, the European Union and the United States.

After the Canada-Sweden expedition ends, Canadian researchers aboard the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent will go on to collect data in the Canada Basin, in the western Arctic Ocean, as part of a collaboration with colleagues from the United States.

“Securing international recognition of the outer limits of Canada’s continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean is a Canadian priority. Our collaboration with Sweden, Denmark and the United States is a prime example of positive cooperation in the region,” said Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs.