News Release Archive

At this time of year, people and birds flock to warmer southern
climates. Yet the colder northern weather has allowed Canada to
develop a reputation as a world leader in many fields of ocean
technology --bringing the world to its shores.

"There are many areas in which Canada has proven itself as a
pioneer in ocean technology," said Barbara Trenholm, a senior
scientific officer with Defence Research Establishment Atlantic.

"Low frequency underwater sound projectors, propeller design and
analysis, software to identify leading causes of corrosion,
leading-edge high-speed signal processing hardware and software,
and autonomous underwater vehicles which can lay fibre optic
cable 250 kilometres under the arctic ice pack --just to name a

Ms .Trenholm credits the Canadian navy's attempts to deal with
the North Atlantic climate as the catalyst for much of the
research and development taking place from coast to coast today.

"For instance, we have more severe seas and therefore more
corrosion problems than other countries. Here in Halifax, there
is a unique facility where people can scale-model the ship they
are trying to protect from corrosion using anodes."

Led by developments in Nova Scotia, Canada has taken the lead in
remote sensing and telemetry of ocean environments. Companies
like Satlantic have revolutionized the field with optical sensors
that transmit data --from both stationary and drifting buoys
--via satellite to companies worldwide which then translate it
into report form.

"Developments like these have been crucial in monitoring and
dealing with phenomena like global warming, coastal erosion as
well as toxic algae or red tides," said Ross Piercey, executive
director, Nova Scotia Oceans Initiative. "People need good
information to make good decisions. If we find processes that are
working, understand them, and use the real-time information,
decision making will become easier."

Canada is also widely recognized for its work in the fields of
bathometric (depth) and geophysical ocean mapping. It has opened
up a wealth of opportunities for biological and mineral resource
assessments, route surveys crucial for towing rigs like Hibernia
without running into the ground, and submitting territorial
jurisdiction claims beyond the 200-mile limit under Article 76 of
the United Nations Law of the Sea.  

"Nova Scotia is quickly becoming a strong leader in geophysical
ocean mapping thanks to the presence of the Canadian Hydrographic
Service and the Geological Survey of Canada," said Mr. Piercey.

For all the accolades and recognition afforded Canada for its
innovations across many fields of ocean technology, Ms. Trenholm
feels that it deserves an even higher profile. She said she hopes
the Oceans  97 conference, being held this week at the World
Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax, will further increase
public awareness of Canada's efforts locally and around the

"Some advances, like high-speed real-time processing for sonar
and radar technology developed by Halifax-based Atlantic
Microprocessor Institute, are so leading edge that they have yet
to reach the general public," she said.

Although North Atlantic waters remain cool for most of the year,
interest from around the world in local and national ocean
technology companies is heating up. 

Oceans  97 has drawn about 1,200 delegates to Halifax for the
four-day event, which ends Thursday, Oct. 9. The annual
conference, sponsored by the Marine Technology Society and the
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., is the
largest global showcase of advancements in ocean technology.  


Contact: Mary Anna Jollymore
         Communications Nova Scotia
         902-429-7133, Oceans  97 Media Room

ngr                  October 8, 1997                 3:15 pm