Teaming Up with Ocean Networks Canada for Ocean Science and Exploration In British Columbia

Ocean networks canada OET
Ocean Exploration Trust

Our third expedition of 2023, NA151, sees OET sailing E/V Nautilus to the Northeast Pacific to partner with Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) in ocean exploration and maintenance of the major cabled observatory, NEPTUNE (North-East Pacific Time-series Underwater Networked Experiments). ONC’s 800+ km cabled seafloor observatory off the west coast of British Columbia provides power and Internet connectivity to thousands of sensors installed on the seafloor–bringing the secrets of the deepsea to light in real time. OET and ONC, an initiative of the University of Victoria, will embark on June 25 on this 22-day expedition that starts and finishes in Sidney, British Columbia—marking the seventh year in our partnership.

The expedition crew will use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) Hercules and Atalanta to deploy and recover observatory sensors, cameras, and instruments and provide general maintenance–navigating depths up to 2660 meters in one of the most hostile environments on Earth. The team will also assist in scientific seafloor surveys with biological and geological sampling, investigating unique coastal marine life and deepsea ecosystems, including the spectacular Endeavour hydrothermal vent field. This expedition is funded by Ocean Networks Canada.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Ocean Networks Canada, who we’ve been collaborating with since 2015, again this year as part of our 2023 season. ONC and OET’s missions are well aligned with our common goals of collecting and broadly sharing oceanographic data and making impactful connections with the communities in which we work. We are excited to once again provide our operational expertise and E/V Nautilus in support of their annual maintenance needs along ONC’s expansive cabled seafloor observatory,” says OET Chief Operating Officer Allison Fundis.

The world-leading NEPTUNE observatory provides high-resolution, long-term, location-specific observations not possible by traditional ship-based exploration. Over 32,000 people worldwide are accessing ONC data via ONC’s Oceans 3.0 Data Portal, available to anyone with an Internet connection. ONC delivers ocean data from its cabled, mobile, and community-based observing networks on Canada’s Pacific, Arctic, and Atlantic coasts, representing an essential component of Canada’s ocean-observing science capacity. 

“These maintenance expeditions are essential for ensuring the continued delivery of high-quality long-time series data that supports many services and solutions,” says ONC Director of Observatory Digital Operations Meghan Paulson, “from swapping water quality measurement sensors at Folger Deep–an important site for early indication of marine hypoxia–to instrument updates that support tsunami and earthquake early warning detection, to servicing the equipment monitoring the Endeavour Hydrothermal Vent Marine Protected Area where temperatures can reach 300℃. These expeditions enable scientific discovery in these otherwise inaccessible sites.”

By bringing data to the surface, ONC provides ocean intelligence to scientists, governments, organizations, and citizens. ONC data accelerates scientific discovery and makes possible services and solutions that support ocean-and-planet sustainability—from ocean-based climate change mitigation to earthquake early warning and marine safety.  

With our brand signature engagement and interactive exploration model, OET invites global audiences to participate in deep sea exploration, meeting inspiring role models from the onboard team and developing a passion for our ocean through the excitement of discovery. We believe in providing publicly-accessible data to enable follow-up work and promote international collaboration on ocean exploration and science objectives.

You can join us in exploring the ocean in real time via, a live streaming 24/7 interactive portal for seafloor expeditions. Experts aboard E/V Nautilus are available for follow-up interviews via