Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance

The Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance was created in 2013 when Canada, the United States and the European Union signed the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation at the Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland. Its goal is “to better understand our shared Atlantic Ocean and promote the sustainable management of its resources”. By pooling our intellectual capital, resources, and by working together on research and monitoring programs, we can make long-lasting advances in understanding the ocean we share. The information collected by our scientists will contribute to the sustainable management of Atlantic Ocean resources, a more comprehensive suite of maps of the seabed floor and an increased understanding of this complex ecosystem.

Canadian Galway Working Group

Canadian Galway Working Group

Canada’s ocean science and technology community, which includes academic institutions, the provinces and territories, the private sector, and the Government of Canada, are active partners in research projects and initiatives in support of the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance and the implementation of Canada’s commitment under the Galway Statement. The Canadian Galway Marine Working Group has defined Canadian Ocean Science Priorities which will help us better understand ocean health, map the sea-floor and predict trends.

Research themes

Research themes

The following priority areas of cooperation were identified in the Galway Statement and adopted by the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance:

  • Ocean Literacy
  • Seabed and Benthic Habitat Mapping
  • Shared Access to Research Marine Infrastructures
  • Knowledge Sharing Platform
  • Ecosystem Approach to Ocean Health and Stressors
  • Ocean Observation
  • Marine Biotechnology
  • Aquaculture

For more information, please visit the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance’s website

Research consortium & projects

Research consortium & projects

Canada is participating in the following research consortiums and projects in support of the Galway Statement:

  • Atlas Project - deep-sea Atlantic Ocean ecosystems
  • SponGES Project - deep-sea sponges of the North Atlantic Ocean
  • AtlantOS – atlantic ocean observations
  • INMARE – industrial applications of marine enzymes
  • PrimeFish - economic sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture sectors
  • ResponSEAble – encouraging interest in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Sea Change - ocean literacy and action towards healthy oceans and seas
  • AquaSpace – sustainable growth of aquaculture
  • DiscardLess – addressing discards in fisheries
  • ClimeFish – examining climate change
Seabed mapping expeditions

Seabed mapping expeditions

Fifth Expedition – July 2016

Fifth Expedition – July 2016

Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent, departed Halifax on July 22, 2016 on its way to Tromsø, Norway. This is the fifth mission under the Canada-EU-US Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance. The team is conducting surveys of the North Atlantic Ocean to build on the work undertaken in July 2015. The collected seabed data will contribute to the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO).

Students and early career scientists representing Canada and the United States sailing on board on board CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent are writing daily web logs to chronical the mission. Follow along here to read about updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, technology, and other elements of the expedition as we continue to celebrate our shared Atlantic resource. Follow the expedition on Twitter with #GalwayStatement

Participation:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland

For more information:

Fourth Expedition – May 2016

Fourth Expedition – May 2016

A fourth seabed mapping survey took place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance on board the RV Celtic Explorer, from May 11 and 21, 2016. The expedition was led by a team of 12 Canadian and international scientists, who mapped a transect of the Atlantic seafloor between St. John's, Newfoundland, and Galway, Ireland.

This expedition built on the results of the first expedition under the Galway Statement in June 2015.

Participation:

The Marine Institute and Geological Survey of Ireland (INFOMAR), they were joined by early stage researchers from National University of Ireland (Galway, Ireland); Memorial University (Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada); and College of Charleston (United States) as part of the AtSeaMap initiative.

For more information:

Third Expedition – February 2016

Third Expedition – February 2016

On board the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea’s (IFREMER) multi-purpose research vessel, O/V L'Atalante, a seabed mapping transect took place from Pointe à Pitre, Guadaloupe to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel.

Participation:

Maritime Way Scientific Ltd (Ottawa, Canada) and IFREMER (France)

For more information:

Second Expedition – July 2015

Second Expedition – July 2015

The second expedition under the Galway Statement aimed to explore the seabed between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Tromsø, Norway aboard Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent. The team used deep-water multibeam echo sounder technology to create high resolution images of the seabed and gather information on the physical characteristics of the seafloor, such as depth, hardness, and sediment cover, while also acquiring valuable oceanographic data.

The team of scientists discovered several volcano-like features near the mid-Atlantic Ridge - the largest of which was mapped at 1,250 m in diameter at its base and 280 m high. The data collected will help further our understanding of marine habitats, conservation and navigation.

Participation:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), the United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Marine Institute and Geological Survey of Ireland (INFOMAR), and the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

For more information:

First Expedition – June 2015

First Expedition – June 2015

The first expedition under the Galway Statement was on board the Irish research vessel, RV Celtic Explorer. The vessel undertook a mapping expedition between St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada and Galway, Ireland in June 2015. The international team gathered information on the physical characteristics of the seafloor, such as water depth, hardness, roughness, and the presence of geohazards. Among other features, the international team uncovered 235km2 of iceberg scarred seabed, ancient glacial moraine features, and buried sediment channels on the Newfoundland and Labrador shelf.

Participation included: Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Marine Institute and Geological Survey of Ireland (INFOMAR), the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA)

For more information:

Date modified: