Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum


In the fall of 2019, the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) launched the Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum (CMSRF) in collaboration with Clear Seas and with support from exactEarth.

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This Community of Practice, part of MEOPAR Communities of Practice Program, is open to people and organizations working in or conducting research on shipping risk. It provides those interested with a platform to network and share knowledge around shipping risk. Find out more about how communities of practice are having an impact in the marine sector.

What is the Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum?

The Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum is a community of practice (CoP), addressing topics relating to the exploration of risks of- and to- shipping, generally within the Canadian region. The CoP’s activities revolve around three primary interest areas: shipping movement data, shipping traffic modelling, and shipping risk quantification and assessment. On shipping data, types and means of acquisition and data handling, processing, and sharing (where possible) are addressed. Modelling of shipping activity cover needs, approaches and methods, sharing of model code, and modelling output performance assessment and metrics.

Shipping risk assessment and risk quantification comprise the bulk of the CoP’s focus, due to its breadth and importance. Shipping risk topics range from assessment of risks within a given operating region, to examination of the impacts of shipping traffic on diverse receptors (e.g. environment, species at risk, human health), and applications concerning vessel safety. Broadly, the CoP addresses problems related to the modelling of ship movement and presence, the impacts from these vessels to the environment and other receptors, and impacts to vessels from external sources.

What are the Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum’s Goals and Desired Results?

Identify best practices for shipping modelling and shipping risk analysis

By gathering experts to discuss state-of-the-art and operational practice in shipping risk analysis, the Community of Practice hopes to identify and update best practices to be recommended.

Identify gaps in marine shipping risk assessment and share knowledge to address them

Continual improvement of approaches requires the identification of “weak points”. Communication among practitioners on open issues can lead to novel solutions.

Maintain active discussion on new developments in marine shipping data sources

Data on vessels at sea is accumulating at an ever-increasing rate. Means of handling and interpreting these data are key to making sound decisions on risks both to and from vessels.

Provide a focal point for identifying new research in this trans-disciplinary interest area

When opportunities arise for branching out, the CoP can provide a table around which various disciplines can talk on common interests. Through this interaction, new partnerships may develop.

Risks of, and to, marine shipping have an inherent interdisciplinary nature, with interest held in diverse fields, including waterway traffic management, remote sensing, environmental science, geospatial modelling, transportation regulation, and risk analysis and management. The natural tendency of research within disciplines is generally more inward-looking than outward, which tends to concentrate globally valuable information within single fields of study or organizations. The Canadian Marine Shipping Risk Forum is one mechanism to help lower inter-discipline barriers to marine shipping analysis.

2023 CMSRF Webinar Series

Session 1: Satellite Technology (September 21, 2023)
Session 2: Aerial Technology (October 5, 2023)
Session 3: Shore-Based Technology (October 19, 2023)

Underwater Noise Assessments (to come)

Marine Monitor (M2) Shore Installation (to come)

Session 4: Water-Based Technology (November 9, 2023)

Using Autonomous Vessels for Maritime Observation, Monitoring, and Security (to come)

Applying Real-Time Coastal Intelligence to Quantify Marine Hazards and Optimize Decisions (to come)

Session 5: Data Collection and Application (November 30, 2023)

Explore CIOOS (to come)

Salish Sea Transboundary Working Group

The CMSRF hosts meetings of the Salish Sea Transboundary Working Group (SSTWG) to share work, ideas, concerns, questions, and issues about marine shipping risk in the Salish Sea region.