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The Arctic Ocean is ice-free for longer each year, changing usage patterns and increasing pressure on marine spaces and resources.

It’s an important topic of conversation around the world and the challenges and opportunities facing this northern ocean will be the focus of the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s (MI) Ocean Innovation Conference 2016 (OI 2016) in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

OI is a two-day conference with exhibition that takes place biannually in St. John’s, N.L., and in other provinces during alternate years. The conference focuses on the latest innovations in sustainable ocean management, maritime safety and efficiency of marine operations.

The event brings together scientists, academics and government representatives from Canada and beyond. This year, the goal is to combine traditional knowledge, innovation, science and technology to address topics such as the sustainable development of ocean resources in the area, (such as the fishery and ocean energy) climate change and coastal and maritime infrastructure.

“Understanding the Arctic ocean and the role that traditional knowledge and ocean technology can play in enabling better science and good ocean governance is critical, particularly as we move towards year-round access to northern waters,” said Randy Gillespie, director of MI’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology. “We are looking forward to providing an informative and engaging opportunity for local, national and international delegates to share their knowledge and exchange ideas.”

This year’s event is taking place from Oct. 4-5; it is the second time the conference is to be held in Iqaluit.