Newfoundlanders in Israel this week have found they have a lot in common with Israelis. Besides crossing the street without looking at lights, and being extremely informal and personal when it comes to business, both countries are sure that there is a good fit for codeveloping marine technologies. In 2003, the Canadian Government drafted an action plan - Canada's Ocean Strategy - and this week, some 15 Newfoundlanders left the comfort of St. John's and ventured across the Great Big Sea to meet some Israeli companies with marine technology. Although not immediately obvious, some of the imminent bilateral business arrangements, brokered by CIIRDF and Canada's National Research Council, have positive environmental kickbacks. This TreeHugger met with the Newfoundlanders; their warmth and enthusiasm for life was so contagious that she is considering moving back home to Canada's most easterly province."Leave your tie at home and bring your fiddle," was the closing remark made by Henri Rothschild from CIIRDF before the crew took off for the 5-day trip. The trip was bound to be an interesting cultural exchange as well. And Leslie O'Reilly from Oceans Advance in Canada said he would be happy to teach Israelis a jig or two.
Some enviro angles to future collaboration:
Blue Oceans Satellite Systems in St. John's is looking to further develop its remote sensing equipment. That would would mean more safe vessel transport at Sea. Most of the world's cargo shipment is via the water, said Rothschild, and many people do not know that. Blue Oceans is looking to companies like Israel's Elbit for precision tracking equipment.
As the world heats up, says smilin' O'Reilly (he wasn't smiling about global warming though), melting glaciers are expected to make marine transport possible from Russia to China for two months of the year by 2030.
Israel has technology in the nutraceutical market, ie Nori which Israel can help Canadian mariners develop. "On the biological side, the vast majority of the world's nutritional potential is not exploited," Rothschild told TreeHugger. "Algae is nature's most efficient way of manufacturing protein. Nutraceuticals include functional foods such as vitamins and Omega 3." ::See related at TreeHugger.
Israel's Lowtech (couldn't find link) is using tiny batteries made by Tadiran to tag migratory fish.
All in all, it was good fun except for the embarrassing minutes when this TreeHugger was locked inside the conference room and the extremely polite and helpful Canadians, with worried glances during a presenter's talk, came to her rescue.