Advisory Committee on Undersea Feature Names

Advisory Committee on Undersea Feature Names (ACUFN).

Advisory Committee on Undersea Feature Names (ACUFN).

Learn about the committee, member list, responsibilities and how to submit a naming proposal.

About the committee

The Advisory Committee on Undersea Feature Names looks at naming undersea and surface maritime features that are:

  • within Canadian waters
  • in areas of particular interest to Canada

The committee carefully reviews and examines name submissions. They then make recommendations to the chairperson of the Geographical Names Board of Canada. This is the national authority on geographical names.

An “Undersea Feature” is a part of the ocean floor or seabed that has measurable relief or is delimited by relief and is submerged at the lowest low tide (below chart datum).

A “Surface Maritime Feature” is an entity composed of one or more adjoining bodies of water, named and delineated as a single entity. Such entities may receive a single name and delineation for a variety of reasons which may be hydrographical, cultural, ecological, or may be based on the configuration of the surrounding land. The delineation of a Surface Maritime Feature may represent the conceptual linking of previously-named surface maritime features (e.g. Salish Sea, Parry Channel) or it may identify a division of a larger feature (Labrador Sea). Bathymetric features, as well as rocks or islets which break the surface in low water conditions, are not surface maritime features.

Submit a naming proposal

Submit a naming proposal

To submit a naming proposal, follow these 3 steps.

  1. Download the application  form.
  2. Add the supporting material, including:
    • maps
    • charts
    • photos
    • imagery
    • sketches
    • diagrams
    • documentation of any current or historical use of name on charts or in publications
  3. Send in your submission:
    • by email to:
    • by mail to:
      Chair, Advisory Committee on Undersea Feature Names
      Canadian Hydrographic Service
      200 Kent St., 12W091 Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E6
Committee responsibilities

Committee responsibilities

According to the advisory committee's terms of reference (September 2017), responsibilities of the committee include:

  • investigating and researching naming proposals to:
    • determine the suitability of proposals
    • ensure accuracy of the information supplied
  • establishing suitable generic terminology and defining the generic terms
  • receiving and reviewing naming proposals for completeness and conformity
  • verifying undersea and surface maritime features in naming proposals using:
    • maps
    • charts
    • data sources
  • supplying information for updating and maintaining the current name database
  • recommending the acceptance or rejection of names to the Geographical Names Board of Canada
  • reviewing and recommending the suitability and appropriateness of generic terminology to the Geographical Names Board of Canada
Member list

Member list

The advisory committee is comprised of members from:

  • academia
  • the private sector
  • the Translation Bureau
  • the Geographical Names Board of Canada
  • the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • the Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation of Natural Resources Canada

The advisory committee also works, as needed, with specialists in:

  • toponymy
  • hydrography
  • undersea geomorphology
Anna Hendi
Acting Chairperson
Steve Westley
Manager, Geographical Names Board of Canada Secretariat
Philip Goldring
Amelie Bazin
Translation Bureau
Kristina Kwiatkowski
Geographical Names Board of Canada Secretariat
Sunil Bisnath
Douglas O'Brien
Private sector
Canadian Hydrographic Service Technical Experts
Marisa Ramey
Andrew Roberts
Contact us

Contact us

For more information about the committee, contact

Undersea feature map

Interactive undersea feature map

Discover fascinating facts about Canada’s undersea feature names by clicking on our interactive map.

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