Alexander Henry Leim was born on November 10, 1897, in Fergus, Ontario. A University of Toronto graduate, he became a member of the Biological Board of Canada in 1919, as a researcher at the St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick. In 1924, he finished a doctorate on the evolution of the shad, a sea fish in the same family as the sardine and herring that reproduces in freshwater.
After finishing his doctoral studies in marine biology, he became a researcher and Associate Director at the St. Andrews Biological Station. In 1926 he was named Assistant Director of the Fisheries Experimental Station in Halifax, and then Director in 1930. There he trained marine officials, fisheries inspectors and fishermen in addition to addressing issues having to do with fishing technology.
In 1934, he returned to the St. Andrews Biological Station to serve as Director. From 1944 to 1950 he was the head of important research on the Atlantic herring.
A.H. Leim was renowned not only for his fundamental research in marine sciences, but also for his skilled work as an administrator. Throughout his career, Alexander Henry Leim showed a great interest in the life cycles and classification of fish in Atlantic Canada.
Alexander Henry Leim died on December 15, 1960, at age 63, when he was still working at the St. Andrews Biological Station. The reference work entitled Fishes of the Atlantic Coast of Canada was published after his death.
At the dedication ceremony for its new near-shore fisheries research vessel in Rimouski on August 26, 2014, the Canadian Coast Guard will honour renowned Canadian scientist Alexander Henry Leim by naming the ship after him. CCGS Leim will mainly be used for fisheries and oceanographic research missions in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence and is equipped with the latest electronic, satellite and radiocommunications technology.
Construction began on CCGS Leim in Matane, Quebec at the Méridien Maritime Inc. shipyard and she arrived in Rimouski in May 2013. CCGS Leim is one of four new near-shore fisheries research vessels.
Like all CCG research vessels, it has a secondary capacity related to search and rescue and providing environmental response to marine pollution incidents. It will also provide support to other federal, provincial and municipal departments and agencies in response to humanitarian and civil situations and law enforcement.
CCGS Leim is a highly manoeuvrable and versatile fishery research platform. As such, it is capable of deploying many kinds of equipment including various types of trawls, scallop dredges, remote operating vehicles, towed camera sleds, plankton nets, towed acoustic and geophysical survey equipment, and water sampling arrays. This equipment is used for oceanographic and pelagic research as well as mollusc and groundfish surveys.
CCGS Leim can store up to 40,000 litres of fuel, enabling the vessel to remain at sea for up to 14 days. It also has reverse osmosis units that are used to convert salt water to fresh water. The vessel carries a crew of five, at least one of whom is a rescue specialist. The vessel can normally accommodate 11 persons, or as many as 15 for day trips. There is an enclosed wet laboratory on board, which is used mainly for fish sampling.
The vessel has the latest in electronic technology, in particular a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS), an Automatic Identification System (AIS), a high-precision three-dimensional positioning system, and a trawl monitoring system. It also has the latest satellite and terrestrial radiocommunication technology available.
LEIM, A. H. and W. B. SCOTT. Fishes of the Atlantic Coast of Canada,Fisheries Research