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REF NO.: 25

SUBJECT: Marine Institute to host Ocean Innovation 2015

DATE: Oct. 23

With less than five per cent of the ocean floor mapped to a level of beneficial detail, delegates of the 14th annual Ocean Innovation Conference will have plenty to explore as they gather in St. John’s Oct. 26-28 to discuss the theme Mapping our Oceans.

“The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University has been proud to host the Ocean Innovation Conference every year since 2001,” said Randy Gillespie, program chair and director of the Marine Institute’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology. “As the world’s economy and climate depend more on the ocean and marine resources, having accurate and up-to-date ocean data is more critical than ever before. We are looking forward to exploring the topic as it relates to the oil and gas, aquaculture, fisheries and marine industries.”

Bringing together delegates from Canada, the United States and the European Union, the three-day conference will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the latest developments and future prospects in ocean mapping, explore interactive exhibits, take part in practical workshops and network with others in the field.

Denis Hains, director general, Canadian Hydrographic Service and Oceanographic Services at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday, Oct. 27, focusing on the importance of charting our oceans, from international collaboration on mapping the deep waters of the North Atlantic to charting shallow Arctic waters in the wake of climate change. Later that evening, Dr. Peter Heffernan, chief executive officer of the Marine Institute (Ireland), will be the guest speaker at the conference gala dinner.

A youth forum will take place on the second day of the conference. The youth forum will bring together high school students from the greater St. John’s area with internationally recognized ocean experts for a discussion and activities focused on increasing awareness and understanding of ocean education and career opportunities. Among those in attendance will be Mackenzie Woodfine of Waterford Valley High School, the 2015 Ocean Innovation Regional Science winner for the Youth Innovation Award. Presenters will include Colin Devey, professor of oceanic volcanism at GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany, and Craig Brown, NSERC Industrial Research Chair, Nova Scotia Community College.

To celebrate the launch of Ocean Week and Ocean Innovation 2015, the Marine Institute and the City of St. John’s will present the Ocean Innovation Public Lecture. George Schlagintweit of the Central and Arctic Region of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) will describe the role of CHS in the 2014 discovery of one of Franklin’s lost ships, the HMS Erebus. The public lecture will take place on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2-4 p.m. in the observation area of the Marine Institute’s flume tank. The lecture is open to the public and all ages are welcome. Mr. Schlagintweit will also address conference delegates on Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The Marine Institute’s Ocean Innovation is an annual conference focused on topics centred on the latest innovations in the areas of maritime safety, efficiency of operations and sustainable ocean management, while at the same time maintaining a focus on uniting all segments of the oceans community – public, private and academic.

This year’s event is taking place at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland and is being hosted in partnership with Canadian Hydrographic Service, City of St. John's, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development), Kongsberg, NRC-IRAP, Journal of Ocean Technology, Progress Media and Esri Canada. For more information, please visit www.oceaninnovation.ca.

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For more information, please contact Leslie Earle, public relations and communications officer, Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, at 709-778-0677, 709-330-3918, leslie.earle@mi.mun.ca.

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