06/24/2015 02:04 EDT | Updated 06/24/2016 05:59 EDT

Construction underway on new offshore fisheries science vessel

Construction has started at North Vancouver shipyard on one of three new fisheries ships for the Canadian Coast Guard, the federal government announced on Wednesday morning.

The new offshore fisheries science vessel, which will be named the CCGS Sir John Franklin after the British explorer, is expected to be completed by the spring of 2017.

The contract for delivery of the three ships has a ceiling of $514 million, according to a statement released by the government this morning, but the overall project budget including spare parts, support and contingencies is $687 million.

Franklin's ship the HMS Erebus was found last year, nearly 200 years after it was lost in the arctic while searching for the Northwest Passage.

Other vessels to be built at Seaspan's North Vancouver shipyards as part of the national shipbuilding program include an offshore oceanographic science vessel, joint support ships, a polar icebreaker, medium endurance multi-tasked vessels and offshore patrol vessels.