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Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping Invests in Research to Explain Maritime Governance in Canada


The projects will help stakeholders manage marine resources in a sustainable way, and inform public discussion around this complex topic

Vancouver, BC – January 28, 2021 – Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping (Clear Seas) has announced a total of $85,000 in funding for two new research projects to better understand maritime governance and its effects on commercial marine shipping in Canada.

Both projects will shine a light on this complex topic, which will assist experts and the public alike to learn about maritime governance and assess how adaptable Canada’s existing frameworks are to changing demands.

The first project – Demystifying Maritime Governance: Analysis of the Framework and Emerging Issues for the Governance of Shipping in Canada – will explain in simple terms the global and domestic make-up of marine governance including various structures, actors, connections and processes, and analyze the major drivers of change in the system. The project will address four emerging important issues: the interface between shipping and Indigenous rights; the significance of marine spatial planning for shipping; the growing role of risk governance and self-regulation; and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the occupational health and safety of seafarers. This project will be led by professors Dr. Aldo Chircop (Dalhousie University) and Dr. Desai Shan (Memorial University). Learn more about this project here.

The second project – Supporting Inuit Rights and Marine Use – will support the design and production of multilingual and informational posters and a guidebook on marine shipping issues and regulations, and contribute to a better awareness and understanding of how the governance of shipping affects Inuit and communities in Nunavut. Led by professor emerita Dr. Lucia Fanning (Dalhousie University), this project will build on the work already underway in an initiative called Coastal Restoration Nunavut (CRN). More information about this project is available here.

A number of student internships will be created, including support for an intern from an Inuit community. A $45,000 contribution to the first project comes from Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit organization that drives innovation through the creation of internships. These projects were selected from a call for proposals conducted in July 2020.

With ever increasing global trade, a shift to a lower carbon footprint, and recognition of the rights of Indigenous communities, it is essential to have clear policies around ocean governance. The research will help governments, industry, researchers, regulators, Indigenous communities and a range of other stakeholders across Canada not only manage marine resources in a sustainable way, but help inform public discussion and understanding.

About Clear Seas

Clear Seas is a not-for-profit independent research centre that provides impartial information on marine shipping in Canada to policy makers and the public. Its mandate is to initiate and interpret research, analyze policies, identify best practices, share information and facilitate dialogue. The organization’s research agenda is defined internally in response to current issues, reviewed by a research advisory committee, and approved by a board of directors. All reports are available at

Media Contact:

Edward Downing
Director of Communications
Tel.: (604) 408-1648 ext. 106 or cell (604) 817-3058

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