May 28, 2024 | Circular No. 11671

Dear Member,

Vessels calling the Port of Vancouver, BC, Halifax, NS and Hamilton, ON over the next several months may be approached by representatives of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with a request to participate in research about biofouling (living organisms accumulating) on ship hulls.

The study involves divers surveying the hull for biofouling and collecting biological samples while the ship is at berth or at anchorage. The researchers will work with the ship’s schedule to avoid any delays or interruptions. This research is scientific in nature and is not linked to enforcement. All participating ships and agencies will be kept strictly confidential, and results are anonymous.

Immediately after the survey, divers can provide a free verbal report of any significant structural issues, and a brief written report 3-4 days following the sampling. A copy of the underwater video footage taken as part of the survey can be made available, on request, approximately 1-2 months after the sampling occurs.

  • Vancouver, BC June 4-13,
  • Halifax, NS July 9-18 & August 13-22, and
  • Hamilton, ON September 9-20 & October 1-11.
Study requirements/constraints:
  • Sampling can be performed either at berth or anchorage, with vessel gangway needing to be deployed if at anchor
  • Vessel required to ‘lock out’ underwater machines (e.g. thrusters, intakes, rudders, propellers) that are potentially hazardous to divers (2-5 hours to complete)
  • Vessel will not be able to perform ballast water intake when divers are in the water.

As part of the Federation’s commitment to support sound scientific work on aquatic invasive species carried out in Canada, we request your assistance in facilitating these surveys, when operationally and commercially feasible.

Please contact the undersigned with questions.


Miako Ushio
Director, Environmental Affairs