CCGS Alfred Needler

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CCGV Alfred Needler-640.jpg
CCGS Alfred Needler conducting fishery research off Canada's Atlantic coast
Name: Alfred Needler
Namesake: Alfred Needler
Owner: Government of Canada
Port of registry: Ottawa, Ontario
Builder: Ferguson Industries Limited, Pictou
Yard number: 211
Commissioned: August 1982
In service: 1982–present
Homeport: CCG Base Dartmouth (Maritime Region)
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Type: Fisheries research vessel
Length: 50.3 m (165.03 ft)
Beam: 11 m (36.09 ft)
Draught: 4.9 m (16.08 ft)
Installed power: 2,600 kW (3,500 bhp)
Propulsion: 1 × Caterpillar 3606 6-cylinder diesel engine
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Range: 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Endurance: 30 days
Complement: 29

CCGS Alfred Needler[note 1] is an offshore fishery science vessel operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The vessel entered service in 1982 with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, stationed at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. In 1995, in order to reduce the number of ships and combine tasks, the Fisheries and Oceans fleet and the Canadian Coast Guard fleets were merged under the Canadian Coast Guard. Alfred Needler is currently in service.

Design and description[edit]

Alfred Needler is a stern commercial trawler design that is 50.3 m (165.03 ft) long overall with a beam of 11 m (36.09 ft) and a draught of 4.9 m (16.08 ft). The ship is similar in design to Wilfred Templeman, but with different machinery, power and speed.[1][2] The ship has a gross tonnage (GT) of 958.9 GT uses deprecated parameters (help) and a net tonnage (NT) of 225 NetT uses deprecated parameters (help). The research vessel is powered by one Caterpillar 3606 six-cylinder geared diesel engine driving one controllable pitch propeller creating 2,600 kilowatts (3,500 bhp). The vessel is also equipped with one Caterpillar 3306 emergency generator. This gives the vessel a maximum speed of 16 knots (30 km/h). Alfred Needler carries 209.50 m3 (7,398 cu ft) of diesel fuel, has a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h) and can stay at sea for up to 30 days. The vessel is has a complement of 21 composed of 7 officers and 14 crew and has 3 additional berths.[2]

Service history[edit]

The research vessel was constructed for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in 1982 by Ferguson Industries Limited at their yard in Pictou, Nova Scotia with the yard number 211.[3] The ship entered service in August 1982.[3][4] She was named after Canadian fisheries marine biologist Alfred Needler, a former Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who developed a method of accurate fish counts from small surveys.[5][6]

In 1995, in an effort to combine tasks, administration and making savings in both ships and funds, the Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard fleets were merged under the command of the Canadian Coast Guard. Alfred Needler was given the new prefix CCGS as a result.[7] The ship is based at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia although she is often alongside at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. She is one of several fishery research vessels operated by the Government of Canada to monitor migratory fish stocks in the North Atlantic. Alfred Needler is used by Canada and the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) to conduct fisheries surveys; as such, she retains the configuration of a commercial trawler, although her fish holds are converted to laboratory space. The samples collected are used to study the population and health of various species of ocean life.[6]

Alfred Needler experienced an engine room fire on 30 August 2003. There were no casualties although the ship sustained $1.3 million in damage. The cause of the fire was an oil leak in an incorrectly repaired turbocharger.[citation needed] In September 2009, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced invitations for contracts to replace several of the Coast Guard's research vessels, including Alfred Needler.[8]

In July 2016, Alfred Needler discovered the wreck of a ship while trawling the waters off Nova Scotia. The vessel had been conducting an annual survey of the Georges Bank for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.[9]



  1. ^ CCGS stands for Canadian Coast Guard Ship


  1. ^ Maginley and Collin, p. 235
  2. ^ a b "CCG Fleet: Vessel Details – CCGS Alfred Needler". Canadian Coast Guard. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Alfred Needler (7907104)". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 1 January 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Saunders, p. 102
  5. ^ Maginley, p. 257
  6. ^ a b "Research Vessels". Bedford Institute of Oceanography. 2001. Archived from the original on 4 April 2003. 
  7. ^ Maginley and Collin, p. 119
  8. ^ "Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel and Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel: Joint Solicitation of Interest and Qualifications". Canadian American Strategic Review. September 2009. Archived from the original on 12 September 2009. 
  9. ^ Stagg, Carly (26 July 2016). "Canadian Coast Guard discovers shipwreck off Nova Scotia coast". CBC News. Retrieved 1 January 2017. 


  • Maginley, Charles D.; Collin, Bernard (2001). The Ships of Canada's Marine Services. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-55125-070-5. 
  • Maginley, Charles D. (2003). The Canadian Coast Guard 1962–2002. St. Catharines, Ontario: Vanwell Publishing Limited. ISBN 1-55125-075-6. 
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004–2005. Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1. 

External links[edit]