UVic unveils world's most advanced seafloor observatory

well-deserved reputation as a place where outstanding, innovative research is being conducted."

"VENUS will increase our understanding of the oceans in the same way that the Hubble Telescope is revolutionizing our knowledge of outer space," says B.C. Advanced Education Minister Murray Coell. "By taking risks and challenging traditional limits, the scientists of VENUS offer inspiration to the youth of B.C., and the rest of the world."

VENUS will support two cable arrays. The Saanich Inlet array will extend 4 km into Patricia Bay, and reach depths of 100 metres. It comes ashore at Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Institute of Oceans Science. Another 40-km array will be installed in late 2006 in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver.

The VENUS project director is UVic biologist Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe, a world authority on deep sea life and the Canada Research Chair in Deep Ocean Research. "Over its 20-year lifespan, VENUS will grow as new extensions are added and new questions arise about the oceans," she says. "The scientific community will drive this growth."

The main industrial partners for the Saanich Inlet array are Global Marine Systems Ltd. and its North Vancouver-based subcontractor, OceanWorks International Inc. Global Marine operates the cable-laying ship, CS Wave Venture. VENUS features technologies developed in B.C.

"The VENUS project further advances our commercial expertise into the cutting edge of undersea research," says Gabriel Ruhan, managing director of Global Marine. "We're very pleased to be working with UVic on this important project and we look forward to supporting our relationships throughout the undersea research community."

"We're very excited to be a part of the VENUS project," says Glen Viau, sales and commercial manager at OceanWorks. "The unique challenges involved in the project have given us an opportunity to showcase local capabilities in subsea technology. UVic and the VENUS team are leading

Contact: Valerie Shore
University of Victoria

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