Navigating the Future: Charting Opportunities on COVE’s Waterfront

Navigating the Future: Charting Opportunities on COVE’s Waterfront

COVE is at the forefront of connecting people, ideas, resources, and assets to propel solutions and sustainable growth for Canada’s marine sector. Positioned on the world’s second-largest natural harbour with depths of 15 metres, COVE’s marine terminal offers unparalleled access to eco-friendly marine amenities, including wharf-side electrical stations suitable for industrial operations and electric-powered vessel charging, our 869 metre wharf face, two finger piers, and a small boat facility, providing the best space in the world to turn ideas into commercial solutions.

Our ecosystem, emerging as one of North America’s most vibrant innovation districts, is fueled by talent from Nova Scotia’s ten degree-granting universities and the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), national research centre labs, and Canada’s East Coast Navy. A combination of our physical landscape and surrounding ecosystem has made COVE a global leader in the marine technology sector.

These elements were highlighted this past November when the Research Vessel (RV) Maria S. Merian, was docked alongside COVE. RV Maria S. Merian is one of Germany’s most modern research vessels, commanded by Captain Ralf Schmidt, who has been involved with Maria S. Merian since 2007. He has captained the ship, operated by the German Research Vessels Control Centre at the University of Hamburg, since 2009.

“The cooperation between the Canadian and the German institutions has always been very special. For many years now, all parties involved have been working together in great trust to achieve various goals in marine, environmental, and climate research,” said Captain Schmidt.

The primary aim of the visit was a planned extended call to carry out technical modifications. Even though a regular call in the harbour typically lasts three days, such extended calls are scheduled occasionally to keep the ship up to the latest technical standards. Recognizing the significance of such updates, Captain Schmidt highlighted COVE’s involvement, “COVE represents a unique and important infrastructure for us, enabling us to organize and cooperate with our international and Canadian partners. It is an ideal link between participating institutions and the local economy, a reliable and cooperative partner that we truly appreciate.”

This appreciation emphasizes COVE’s facility capabilities, equipped with crane and boom truck access, providing the necessary infrastructure for marine technology projects. The ice-free winter conditions and established marine services create a conducive environment for research and .

Beyond the physical time spent docked alongside COVE, the Maria S. Merian vessel shares a deeper connection with the Halifax area.

Katja Fennel, Professor and Head of the Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University, highlighted the substantial benefits her department and research group have gained through connections with the German vessel. Her work revolves around ocean prediction, combining observations and numerical models. Collaborating with the RV Merian has provided valuable opportunities to participate in research expeditions.

“Members from my department have benefitted tremendously from our connection to German colleagues who lead research expeditions onboard the RV Merian. The Merian just returned from a month-long expedition in the Labrador Sea, and five members of the Oceanography Department, two of them graduate students, participated in this cruise,” shared Dr. Fennel. She hopes that the collaboration continues in the future.

As for COVE’s future, the goal is to continue to propel marine technology innovation worldwide – with its wharf space remaining a vital resource for fostering collaboration and driving research. “We really enjoyed our time here and are delighted with the extremely friendly and helpful support at all levels. Our thanks go out to COVE and all related parties,” said Captain Schmidt.

Visit COVE’s marine terminal webpage to learn more. To enquire about berthage, email

Related Articles