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Tuk residents get $500K to pilot new ocean data system

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The federal government says it's giving the people of Tuktoyaktuk a little over $500,000 to experiment with a new system designed to share maritime information.

The system, part of an initiative called Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness, launches online this spring.

"It will display a range of valuable near real-time maritime information, including data on vessel traffic, weather, and marine protected areas," Ottawa said in a news release on Friday.

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The Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee, which is receiving $506,683, will be one of 10 Indigenous groups helping to pilot the system.

The group "will install Automatic Identification System (AIS) equipment on community vessels to gather data for the project, while incorporating local and traditional information into the system to support enhanced marine safety and local decision-making," the news release added.

Tuktoyaktuk was first confirmed as a pilot location for the project in January.

“Our Arctic coastline and communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Area are unique, and the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness initiative will provide local communities with relevant and timely data to make on-the-ground decisions, catered to their specific needs," said Michael McLeod, the NWT's Liberal MP, in prepared remarks.

"We are grateful for the dedication of our partners, including the Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee, to help build a complete operating picture and improve maritime awareness through this initiative."

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