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Coastal Defence –  Canadian Coast Guard –  CCG Procurement  – March 2007

Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels  –  What Happened to MSPVs and
Fisheries Research Vessels  for  the Canadian Coast Guard?

In 2005, the then-Liberal government promised two new classes of vessel as a part of their five-year plan for the Canadian Coast Guard. Some $276M was promised – although  not  budgeted  –  for two Off-Shore Fisheries Research Vessels (OSFVs) and four  Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels (MSPVs).  The new Conservative government pledged  to continue this procurement in 2006  but only budgeted enough ($45M) to cover the CCG operating shortfall. So, what happened to the MSPV and OSFV?

The CCG defines ‘Mid-Shore Patrol Vessels’ as “medium sized patrol vessels of ... 37- 42 metres which operate up to 120 nautical miles offshore. These vessels carry one or two [ RHIBs ...] and have accommodation for two fisheries or police officers. The main use [ for MSPVs is]  maritime security and fisheries enforcement”. The MSPV (and the OSFV) are, in effect, the small end of  the Offshore Patrol Vessels  (OPVs).

The question is: what happened to the promised MSPV and OSFV? With the CCG fleet rusting out and no serious Navy interest in OPVs, shouldn’t these modestly- sized (and relatively inexpensive) patrol vessels have been given funding priority?

[Update: In the 19 March 2007 Federal Budget, $324M was commited “to build six new ... four  mid-shore patrol vessels and  two offshore fisheries science vessels”. These four MSPVs were in addition to eight budgeted for in 2006. On 13 July 2007, the government cancelled existing procurement plans for MSPV citing flaws in the RFP process. Clarifying the RFP will delay the eight 2006 MSPVs by nine months.]

Below is the original March 2005 DFO/FOC news release announcing the planned procurement of  the MSPV and OSFV.  Below that  is the relevant segment  from a Transport Canada announcement  that a further four  MSPVs would be purchased to back up a “multi-agency Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway Marine Security Op- erations Centre” beginning with an interim DND / RCMP centre.  These additional MSPVs were to be crewed  jointly by  the  RCMP and  the  Canadian Coast Guard.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Backgrounder

BG-PR-05-001e     March 2, 2005

NEW VESSELS FOR CANADIAN COAST GUARD [CCG]

FOUR NEW MID-SHORE FISHERIES PATROL VESSELS  [MSPVs]

These four  new vessels will  be used  primarily for  fisheries patrols for domestic overfishing infractions and conservation and protection enforcement.

They will also be multi-tasked to take part in search and rescue incidents when needed. The vessels will provide support to the [Canadian] Coast Guard’s federal marine security partners and will work with the United States Coast Guard [USCG].

The [MSPV] will be equipped with state-of-the-art electronics for secure communi- cations, will be less than 40 metres [130 feet] on the water-line and have a cruising speed of 25 knots [46 km/h].

A CCG crew of approximately eight will be on board with approximately two [FOC] Fisheries and Oceans Canada fishery officers. There will be room for potentially 14 people on board.

The vessel will carry up to two fast rescue craft (rigid hull inflatables) for rapid response and boarding of fishing vessels.

The patrol vessels will have the capacity to sail out to 120 nautical miles.

THE TWO NEW FISHERIES RESEARCH VESSELS  [OSFVs]

These new vessels will be used primarily for DFO fisheries science research into the quantity and health of various species of fish and shellfish.

Like all CCG vessels, the research vessels will also respond to search and rescue incidents when needed.

The science vessels will be equipped with state-of-the-art wet and dry laboratories for research into comparative species analysis and will carry acoustics to detect fish density.

They will be approximately 65 metres [213 feet] long and have a cruising speed of 14 knots [26 km/h]. An approximate CCG crew of 12 will be on board with the possibility for 10 scientists.

The vessels will have the capacity to sail out over 200 nautical miles [370 km].

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Transport Canada – Backgrounder   [ Marine Security (27 April 2005) ]

Mid-Shore Patrol Vessel Acquisition

This joint RCMP-Canada Coast Guard initiative will establish a major on-water enforcement presence and response capacity throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System.

The program announced today will permit the Coast Guard to acquire four [MSPV] mid-shore patrol class vessels to expand the existing east and west coast cooper- ative arrangement between the RCMP and the Coast Guard to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. This initiative,  together with the establishment of  the emergency response teams, will help deal with localized marine security incidents. In the interim, existing vessels will be deployed to the area in the summer of 2005.