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Photo gallery: Inside the coast guard's newest vessel

Last week, the Canadian Coast Guard took possession of its first newly built vessel in more than three decades.

Last week, the Canadian Coast Guard took possession of its first newly built vessel in more than three decades.

The 64-metre CCGS Sir John Franklin, which will be based at the Institute of Ocean Sciences on the Saanich Peninsula, is the first part of a fleet refit and the first large vessel designed and built under the federal government’s national shipbuilding strategy.

The Franklin, which replaces the CCGS W.E. Ricker, is an offshore fisheries science vessel, built with high-tech fishing trawls, laboratories and a deployable drop keel.

It will serve as a platform for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to monitor the health of fish stocks and species at risk, and determine the effectiveness of new marine protected zones.

Crew and scientists will spend the coming months getting familiar with the vessel and its systems, with expectations it will undertake its first scientific mission in six months.