New Science Investments at Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Starting in 2016-17, the Government of Canada is investing $197.1 million over five years to increase ocean and freshwater scientific research and monitoring at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

New and expanded research activities will support decision-making and policies to conserve our oceans, coasts, waterways and fisheries to ensure that they are healthy and sustainable for future generations.

Here are the details on how the investment will be used:

More research and monitoring to support healthy fish stocks:

  • We will do more ecosystem research and improve stock assessments on fish and shellfish that are most important for commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries in our three oceans.
  • We will do more research on wild Atlantic and Pacific salmon to better understand the threats affecting them.
  • We will increase research and monitoring of marine mammals, including those that are considered at risk, to better understand their population dynamics.

More research and monitoring of environmental stressors such as contaminants and pollution:

  • We will be doing more research on the effects of environmental stressors on our marine ecosystems to guide marine conservation policies and to guide project developments. These stressors include contaminants, underwater noise and micro-plastics.
  • We will enhance our observations on ocean currents, temperature, salinity, etc. to better predict future oceanographic changes and trends.

More research to support sustainable aquaculture:

  • We will support sustainable finfish aquaculture by doing more research on the effects of aquaculture on ecosystems and wild species, increasing coastal monitoring, and developing mitigation techniques.
  • We will increase diagnostic testing for pathogens and diseases in farmed and wild fish so that the Government of Canada can meet its responsibilities to protect wild and farmed fish stocks from serious infectious diseases.

More freshwater research:

  • We will do more research on freshwater ecosystems, specifically in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg and the St. Lawrence River.
  • We will also be providing additional funding to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to undertake research at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA). 

More scientists; more technology; more collaboration:

To meet these scientific objectives, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will be investing in new scientific talent, technology and partnerships.

  • We will be hiring 135 research scientists, biologists, oceanographers and technicians across the country to enhance our skills and expertise. Our largest single recruitment toward restoring ocean science.
  • We will be investing in new and innovative technologies such as state-of-the-art acoustic and remote sensing technologies and high performance lab equipment. These technologies will improve our data and help spur innovation.
  • We will foster and leverage important partnerships with academia and other organizations, both domestically and abroad, to ensure we have access to the best available science to support regulatory and policy development.  

Taken together, this investment will substantially support our mandate regarding the stewardship of Canada‚Äôs three oceans and aquatic resources. It will allow us to make better decisions, based on scientific evidence, for the benefit of all Canadians. 

May 2016

News release: Government of Canada Announces New Career Opportunities and Investments in Ocean and Freshwater Science


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