On Monday, July 9, a delegation from the distiniguished Chinese Academy of Sciences came to Ocean Networks Canada as part of a mission to the U.S. and Canadian west coast. The Academy is the Republic of China’s highest academic institution in natural sciences and its top scientific and technological advisory body.
Led by Academy vice president, Ding Zhongli, and the director of the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology in Guangzhou, Si Zhang, the group of nine spent the morning visiting the Technology Enterprise Facility on the University of Victoria campus where they were welcomed by president Kate Moran and staff from Ocean Networks Canada cabled undersea observatories.
“The importance of international collaboration in ocean sciences cannot be overstressed,” said Dr. Moran. “The more we work together to develop our expertise and research, the better we will understand our global ocean and the need for global solutions to address critical challenges and threats facing marine ecosystems around the world.”
The visitors were introduced to the technology, data management systems, and research themes at Ocean Networks Canada. In turn, they presented their plans to build Chinese cabled ocean observatories, starting with a four-kilometre test cable at the city of Sanya on Hainan Island, followed by a 500-kilometre cable extending into the South China Sea.
Later in the afternoon the delegation toured the Marine Technology Centre in Sidney, where they were shown engineering technology including Wally, the Tempo-Mini platform, undersea instruments and observatory infrastructure. They also saw the remotely operated vehicle ROPOS—at the neighbouring Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility— that enables ocean exploration, installation and maintenance of seafloor observatories.
Ocean Networks Canada and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology are now in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding to encourage collaboration in ocean technology and research that will span the Pacific Ocean.