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Government of Canada partners with Inuit firm to enhance marine safety in the Arctic


Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced that the Canadian Hydrographic Service has awarded a contract to Sedna ROV Services, a marine and underwater services company based in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to conduct hydrographic survey missions in the Arctic.

The contract for this project, worth $6.5 million over two years, was awarded in July 2023. The first survey mission was completed in late October 2023. This initiative is funded through the second phase of the Oceans Protection Plan that was announced in August 2022.

Operating from aboard the icebreaker M/V Polar Prince (owned by Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services), Canadian Hydrographic Service survey equipment and hydrographers successfully surveyed over 9,000 linear kilometres of Arctic Ocean last year. These hydrographic surveys will play a crucial role in advancing our knowledge of the Arctic seabed. The data collected will contribute to the safety and efficiency of navigation, support environmental protection efforts, and facilitate sustainable economic development in the region.

Furthermore, this initiative supports job training and employment opportunities for Indigenous students in post-secondary marine studies programs to work as cadets aboard the M/V Polar Prince. By working with Sedna ROV Services, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is demonstrating its commitment to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights, and to fostering safe and sustainable opportunities for economic growth and development in the North. 

Quick Facts

  • The Canadian Hydrographic Service has awarded a $6.5 million contract to Nunavut’s Sedna ROV to conduct dedicated hydrographic survey missions in Canada’s Arctic during the 2023 and 2024 field seasons.

  • During the successful first year of the project, over 9000 linear kilometres of Arctic Ocean were surveyed — a distance greater than the world’s longest international land border (between Canada and the United States.)

  • As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the two-year project will improve charting in the proposed northern low impact shipping corridors by using modern sonar technology to collect hydrographic data.

  • M/V Polar Prince is an Indigenous-owned ice-classed multi-functional vessel operated by Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services from Conne River, Newfoundland. Sedna ROV Services has partnered with Miawpukek to provide service to clients in Nunavut and support job training and employment opportunities for Indigenous seafaring cadets.

(Photo by Paul Beesley of the MV Polar Prince)