Professor Neil Bellefontaine has been Vice President (Academics) at WMU since April 2011. He previously held the Canadian Chair in Marine Environmental Protection from October 2006 to April 2013. He was formerly a senior executive with the Canadian Fisheries and Oceans Department with broad professional experience in maritime administration, fisheries and marine aquaculture and coastal and oceans management.
Invasive species in the Arctic
The Arctic is undergoing significant change as a result of global warming, which will mean increasing ship traffic in the Arctic and conditions more favorable for invasive species. A research agreement with Total Foundation, Assessing and Mitigating the Environmental Impacts of Shipping in the Arctic Focus on the Introduction of Invasive Species and Pathogens, invites close collaboration with the French Research Institute for the Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER). The focus is on the Barents Sea. The research will review international and national legislation regarding ballast water and biofouling management, including existing and future implementation and enforcement procedures. This includes the Ballast Water Management Convention, and responsibilities for operators of maritime activities, port and flag States, and regional and international bodies. The project was signed on 13 September and extends until 31 December 2015 with Total Foundation providing €110,000 in project funding.
After the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Total created a corporate foundation dedicated to the environment and more specifically to marine biodiversity. In addition, the Total Foundation financially supports research projects and awareness programs in culture, community support, and health. Total Foundation is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012. The Foundation also covers other subjects of philantrophy: culture, community, support and health.