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Future Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre to take shape at Gulf Fisheries Centre

by pmnationtalk on August 21, 2017433 Views

August 21, 2017

Moncton, New Brunswick − The Government of Canada is investing in scientific excellence to ensure we have high-quality information to make the best decisions about Canada’s aquatic environments. This is one of the ways the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure that fisheries and aquaculture sectors thrive, remain sustainable and healthy, while employing good, well paying jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the creation of the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre at the Gulf Fisheries Centre.

Over the next few years, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will be transforming the

Gulf Region’s regional headquarters building, the Gulf Fisheries Centre, into a world class, innovative and collaborative scientific research centre. This research hub will include interpretive spaces to engage Canadians in marine science and promote ocean literacy.

The Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre will foster partnerships between the scientific and academic communities, Indigenous Peoples, business groups, the fishing industry, government partners, non-government organizations and the public.

The Minister also announced today that, as of April 1, 2018, the revitalized Gulf Fisheries Centre will be the new home of DFO’s national component of the Small Craft Harbours program, which is currently located in Ottawa.

DFO’s Small Craft Harbours program is an important federal program responsible for a national network of harbours from coast to coast. Approximately 70 percent of these harbours are located in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.  Moving the national component of the program to Moncton will bring it closer to a large majority of its clients, stakeholders and Harbour Authorities.

Today’s event launches the first phase of the work to transform the Gulf Fisheries Centre into a multi-partner scientific research centre. Overall, the Government of Canada is investing

$1.8 million to begin this transformation, including important infrastructure investments such as a new roof and improvements to building systems.

In early June, it was announced that the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre will be established at DFO’s Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research in Vancouver, British Columbia.

These two Science Enterprise Centres will expand research activities, make ocean science more accessible, integrate traditional ecological knowledge in research processes, and promote community engagement and citizen science.

The Minister also announced that the interpretive public space in the new Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre will eventually have the skeleton of a North Atlantic Right whale on exhibit. This will serve as a dramatic reminder of why we must work so diligently to protect the health of our oceans and the magnificent species within it.

An exciting new partnership with Ingenium, formerly known as the Canadian Science and Technology Museum Corporation, will also support the creation of dynamic interpretative spaces to engage the public at both centres, as well as the production of educational materials. Minister LeBlanc announced today that DFO is investing $1 million to support this initiative.


“I am thrilled to announce the creation of the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre at the Gulf Fisheries Centre. Over the next few years, this historic building will be transformed into an innovative science facility to foster collaboration and offer community engagement. The transformation of this facility demonstrates our Government’s commitment to continuous scientific excellence and innovation, and strengthening connections between people and research activities.”

Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“We are excited about this partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Together we are aiming to further ocean literacy in Canada by mobilizing Ingenium’s staff expertise as creators of exhibitions and interactive experiences making science, technology and innovation, easy, thought-provoking and fun. Working with Ocean School, we will showcase to Canadians cutting-edge research undertaken by scientists at the Department and in schools, and open a window into the science behind the decisions that affect the health and sustainability of oceans. This agreement draws upon the expertise of many organizations including Dalhousie University and the National Film Board, and exemplifies the collaborative approach undertaken by the Science Enterprise Centres.”

Fernand Proulx, Interim President and CEO of Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation

Quick Facts

  • The Gulf Fisheries Centre is located in the former College Notre-Dame d’Acadie, which was built in 1948. Acquired by DFO in 1982 to house the Gulf Region’s headquarters, the facility was later designated as a federal heritage building for its architectural, historic and socio-cultural importance.
  • The Gulf Fisheries Centre is home to one of the Government of Canada’s four laboratories specializing in the health of aquatic animals, making it an ideal location to increase ocean and freshwater science, and expand research activities in the areas of genomics, harbour and coastal ecosystems, shellfish and wild Atlantic salmon.
  • As part of the Government of Canada’s $197 million commitment to freshwater and ocean science identified in Budget 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is investing in partnerships to ensure we have the best available science to effectively protect and manage Canada’s aquatic resources.
  • A portion of this funding was dedicated to establishing new partnerships and collaborations with universities, environmental organizations, Indigenous groups and stakeholders—both in Canada and abroad.

Associated Links


Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Gulf Region

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
[email protected]


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