Neptune doesn’t like Canadian seafarers

Perhaps some of you are aware that a huge project is afoot to study the ocean, by building a underwater ocean observatory. The main project, Neptune (acronyms) is yet to be installed, but the small scale trial model has been install off Patricia Bay in the Saanich Inlet off Vancouver Island, it is called Venus. Venus infrastructure was installed by Global Marine, a British outfit using the Wave Venture usually based out of Victoria.(Pictured to the right, from the Venus Website).

I am concerned that although funded by my tax dollars, which is a topic of it own, I am, as a professional seafarer, getting a another chop to the ribs. And I am not particularly enthused by it and I wrote my member of parliament about it, here is an excerp.

“I wish to express my concern about a current scientific project off the coast of British Columbia. The Neptune project is a $300 million dollars underwater ocean observatory spearheaded by the University of Victoria. I believe this to be a great step in understanding our oceans and I am certainly not opposing it. My concern arises from the recent awarding of a $39 million dollar contract by UVic to a French telecommunication company, Alcatel, for the design and installation of the actual infrastructure of the project; underwater and shore terminal. Alcatel, I am sure, as proven itself in this technical design expertise.

Since Alcatel is a communication company, the actual installation of the infrastructure at sea will most likely be done by a vessel they have on charter, the Maersk Defender. The Maersk Defender is a Danish flag vessel, crewed by Danish officers and Filipinoo crewmembers. As I am a Canadian Officer and this Danish ship could be operating in Canadian waters under a substantial tax funded project it is easy to see my concern.

I am not sure of the exact plans for the deployment of the infrastructure, as no information is provided on the project website, and emails to Alcatel have not been answered, but I would like to make sure that to the best of our abilities, Canadian companies and Canadian seafarers are chosen to perform the installation of the Neptune work is not outside the capabilities of Canadian firms and the seafarers and experienced technical personnel are certainly available to properly carry out this operation. ”

We have Secunda in Halifax who operates two such cable ship. As a matter of fact, Bold Endurance, (Pictured one rare snowy day in Victoria) currently in the Gulf of Mexico, but previously in Victoria for almost four years was doing the exact thing Wave Venture was doing. Not to mention enough seafarers to go around.

I don’t want to be a party pooper, but for goodness sake,don’t make me pay taxes to give it to other seafarers who don’t have too, to work in my backyard ! What do you think, am I way off ?

To learn more about Venus, Neptune click on the link.
Martin Leduc

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Somebody shoudl give IT International (Montreal/Halifax) a call. Canadian owned company with thier own ship and ROV quite able to perform the work.

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