Halifax Marine Research Institute

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The Marine & Environmental Law Institute’s (MELAW) 2012-2013 Annual Report is now available.  Below is the link to the electronic version which is also available on the MELAW website.  If you prefer a hard copy, please contact the MELAW office and one will be mailed out to you.

Marine & Environmental Law Institute’s 2012-2013 Annual Report.


The first SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy was successfully deployed on November 7, 2013 in Herring Cove by the Canadian Coast Guard vessel CCGS Sir William Alexander. This technologically savvy “smart” buoy is bright yellow, three metres in diameter and weighs in excess of 1.5 metric tonnes.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a scientific ODAS buoy (Ocean Data Acquisition System). It is an important new weather forecasting tool and platform for scientific research/education. Data transmitted from the SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy will be used to generate – for the first time in Halifax – real-time high resolution weather and wave forecasting.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Covey Buoy project is a great example of Canadian science and technology providing economic benefits to Atlantic Canadians, improving safety for mariners, and supplying better information for use by research partners and policy makers. It will:

  • provide accurate and timely information for marine users of the Port of Halifax
  • significantly improve safety and efficiency of port operations
  • be a working example of the Canadian Coast Guard’s e-Navigation initiative
  • aid Search and Rescue operations in the harbour approaches
  • benefit fishers, recreational boaters and the public

Meteorological and oceanographic data transmitted from the buoy will also be used in ocean/climate research regionally, nationally andinternationally.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy is a joint initiative of:

  • Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association
  • Halifax Marine Research Institute
  • Atlantic Pilotage Authority
  • Halifax Port Authority
  • MEOPAR
  • Canadian Coast Guard.

Operation of the buoy, data analysis, and forecasting will also involve the Marine Institute (St. John’s, NL), and AMEC Environment & Infrastructure (Dartmouth, NS).

Start-up funding is being provided by Transport Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, and MEOPAR, in addition to in-kind contributions from AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, the Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association. The Atlantic Pilotage Authority and the HalifaxPort Authority have committed to fund the annual operating and maintenance costs (estimated at a total of $120,000 per year) for a period of 10 years.

SmartATLANTIC Inshore Weather Buoy from Darrow Multimedia – Paul Darrow on Vimeo.


From September 19-20, 2013, the ERA-Can II project held a high-level symposium on fostering transatlantic collaboration for the development and use of Arctic and marine research infrastructure. This symposium was the closing event for the ERA-Can II Project. Funded by the European Commission and the Government of Canada, and coordinated by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the core objective of the ERA-Can II project is to facilitate the sharing of information, and foster interaction, between the European and Canadian research communities.

The overall objective of the Rome Symposium was to discuss and identify opportunities for collaboration in the development, management and use of Arctic and marine research infrastructure. The goal was to find ways to maximize the impact of significant investments in research infrastructure by fostering collaboration, avoiding unnecessary duplication, and ensuring that the best researchers have access to the tools, equipment and facilities necessary for world-class research.


On July 2013, Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI) had the pleasure of hosting the Honourable Peter MacKay, then Canadian Minister of Defence, and the Honourable Graham Steele, Nova Scotia Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism at the new Dalhousie Ocean Sciences Building, for the announcement of federal and provincial funding of HMRI’s first smart buoy project. HMRI will acquire, deploy and operate a 3 metre inshore weather buoy near Herring Cove, Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Canadian Marine Pilots’ Association, Atlantic Pilotage Authority, Halifax Port Authority, Canadian Coast Guard, and the Marine Environment Observation Prediction and Response network (MEOPAR).

Following deployment in Autumn 2013, the buoy’s sensors will generate real time measurements used to create high-resolution weather and wave forecasts for the mouth of Halifax Harbour. Data collected by the buoy’s sensors will assist the Atlantic Pilotage Authority and Halifax Port Authority in improving safety and scheduling in the Port of Halifax. This data will also generate educational and scientific opportunities for ocean science and technology students and researchers in Nova Scotia and beyond.

The SmartATLANTIC Herring Cove Buoy project is the result of a 10-year effort by the Canadian Marine Pilot’s Association, and HMRI’s ability to facilitate multi-party collaboration in Atlantic Canada’s ocean technology sector. The project is made possible by funding of up to $171,000 from Transport Canada, and funding of $150,000 from the Province of Nova Scotia, as well as in-kind and cash contributions totaling $45,000 provided by AMEC Earth & Environmental, the Canadian Coast Guard, and MEOPAR. Operational funding of approximately $1.2 Million will be provided by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority and Halifax Port Authority during the initial 10 years of deployment.

For additional information on this exciting HMRI project, please contact Jim Hanlon, HMRI’s chief executive officer.


The Transatlantic Ocean System Science & Technology graduate school has 10 competitive PhD Fellowship positions at Dalhousie University and the University of New Brunswick.

TOSST is a joint transatlantic graduate research school linking two major centres of ocean research: Maritime Canada and northern Germany. TOSST complements the existing German-funded Helmholtz Ocean System Science and Technology (HOSST – http://www.geomar.de/studieren/phd-hosst/) research school in Kiel, Germany.

Students have the opportunity to participate in summer schools located in Halifax, Kiel, and Cape Verde; take courses focusing on business development, management skills, and leadership; complete internships in industry, government, and NGOs; and conduct interdisciplinary research in state of the art facilities with co-supervisors in Canada and Germany.

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