UNCLOS and the Canadian Hydrographic Service

Denis Hains, Director General of the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and Hydrographer General of Canada, explains his role and the contribution of CHS’ partners in support of Canada’s submission for the Arctic Ocean to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).


UNCLOS mission completed.

I'm very proud to say that with the successful mission of 2016 we have completed the field surveys and now we are focusing on preparing the submission to the United Nation for the extended of continental shelf for the Arctic Ocean.

Collaboration is essential in projects like that Global Affairs Canada is playing a leadership role for Canada in leading the legal aspect of the submission they are also playing the role of diplomatic relationship with other nations. Natural Resources Canada played and provided expertise in geological and geophysical science while the Canadian hydrographic service is providing the ocean mapping and also the precise positioning at sea to provide the information.

The support of the Canadian Coast Guard has been essential for the success of the missions in the Canadian Arctic. Their understanding and knowledge of the Canadian Arctic harsh environment was critical to make that possible. They provided support and platform to our scientific equipment to make a success in these surveys.

International collaboration is clearly a very important element also in the success of the missions. Denmark, US and Sweden has been involved in the success collaborating with us providing data providing platforms and information to make the project successful. Next step for the science in UNLOS is really to compile the data, process data and finalize the submission that will be sent to the United Nations for assessment and endorsement.

It is not often that Canada is going through a growth like that. It's one in a lifetime where you will have to grow the territory of Canada by the size of many provinces altogether so it gives a sense of pride of contributing to the nation to Canada and to Natural Resources. Contributing to such an achievement is outstanding for scientists for technician for engineers.

It gives you a sense of pride of contributing to your country and something that would make a big difference for the economy in the sovereignty of the country in the future. As Director General of the Canadian Hydrographic service and Hydrographer General of Canada my role is to manage the team that is providing the information for seabed mapping and positioning at sea.