Canadian Manufacturing

Oceans North and First Nations group to partner on the development of a zero-emissions marine vessel

by CM Staff   

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The inshore lobster fleet in Nova Scotia provides an opportunity to advance zero-emission propulsion systems.

HALIFAX — An environmental charity and a First Nations group in Nova Scotia are partnering on a project to develop the first generation of zero-emission fishing vessels in Canada.

Oceans North says they support marine conservation and climate action in partnership with Indigenous and coastal communities, and have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Membertou First Nation to work together on the initiative.

“Membertou is incredibly proud to be working with Oceans North to explore opportunities in the electrification of our commercial fishing vessels. As traditional and modern stewards of the land, the Mi’kmaq have great interest in being leaders of a cleaner, greener society. This project marks a step forward, and addresses the urgency necessary to meet our climate change goals. We intend to be part of the solution now, for a better tomorrow,” says Chief Terry Paul.

“The environmental changes taking place are a call to action for all governments and sectors—including Atlantic Canada’s largest commercial fishery and the boatbuilding industry that supports it,” says Louie Porta, Oceans North’s Executive Director. “Fishers have an opportunity to lead the way towards a net-zero ocean economy, which will not only reduce emissions, but also reduce operation costs.”


The inshore lobster fleet in Nova Scotia provides an opportunity to advance zero-emission propulsion systems. Seventy per cent of the inshore lobster fleet travels within 20 kilometres from shore and can be powered by battery electric systems, according to Oceans North.

Google Canada will be supporting the project, through a grant from Demonstrating these technologies in a real-world setting is the first step to adopting them more broadly.

“At Google, we are committed to building a sustainable future for everyone by making the sustainable choice the easy choice,” says Brian Juhyuk Lee, Sustainability Giving Lead of, which is providing support for the initiative. “Marine industries are especially tricky to decarbonize and will take more resources than philanthropy can provide. That’s why we’re thrilled to support Oceans North in creating a demonstrable and replicable zero-emissions vessel that can help reduce emissions at scale.”

The RBC Foundation is also supporting with the development of the vessel through its RBC Tech For Nature initiative.


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