The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MI) will host a delegation from Murmansk Oblast, Russia on Monday morning. The Russian group will tour the Marine Institute’s facilities, take in a presentation on MI and meet with senior Marine Institute representatives.
“We look forward to today’s meeting with the delegation from Russia. Although Newfoundland and Labrador is a long way from Russia, we have a lot in common with our visitors when it comes to industry development, particularly the marine sector,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “The Russian delegation specifically requested to visit the Marine Institute and we hope to discuss possible ways we can work together in regards to applied research, education and training services.”
Murmansk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia (similar to a Canadian province) and is located in the northwest region of the country near the Barents Sea. It is an important fishing and shipping port, in part because of its year-round, ice-free port. Much like Newfoundland and Labrador, Murmansk Oblast is developing its oil and gas resources.
“The Marine Institute and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador share a lot of interests and goals with the delegation from Murmansk,” said Captain Christopher Hearn, director of the Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation. “The Centre for Marine Simulation is very interested in the development and advancement of ice navigation, design, operations rehearsal, risk assessment and simulation development pertaining to oil and gas recovery in the Russian sector.”
For their part, the delegation from Murmansk Oblast is interested in the technology, applied research and training available at the Marine Institute, specifically the training and technology relating to the harsh environment of the oil fields off the coast of our province.
In short, both sides can learn a great deal from one another.
“They could have interest in our ties with the provincial oil and gas sector, especially in regards to dealing with glacial ice and ice combined with severe weather conditions,” said Capt. Hearn. “Several fields are producing oil in the Russian Arctic and the design and operations of their vessels and platforms are unique. Some of those applications could be used in the Labrador area and the Canadian Arctic.”
Sergei Smityushenko, First Deputy Governor of Murmansk Oblast, will lead the delegation visiting the Marine Institute while Dr. Stuart Durant will accompany the Murmansk Oblast delegation as the honourary consul for the Russian Federation.
The Murmansk Oblast delegation will begin their tour of the Marine Institute at 10:30 a.m. and the visit is expected to conclude by 1:30 p.m.