New science funding for hydrophones and oceanographic radars to monitor marine environments

News Release

Vancouver, British Columbia -- Canada’s coastal and marine environments are central to our Canadian heritage, culture, and economy. The Government of Canada believes in providing significant support for enhanced scientific data on our oceans. Science investments made through the Oceans Protection Plan will play an important part in improving marine safety and protecting Canada’s marine species.

Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced $7.2 million in new science funding for the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) to support the increased use of world-renowned digital hydrophone and oceanographic technologies which will benefit our coastal environments.

Under the initiative, a network of underwater listening devices and oceanographic radars will be used to monitor underwater noise and ocean currents in key areas of the British Columbia coast. This investment will improve the existing network of underwater listening stations along the Pacific coast, especially in key habitats such as those used by the killer whales. 

Information from the expanded hydrophone network will allow for a better understanding of the underwater acoustic environment and will be used to inform mitigation strategies to protect marine mammals including killer whales. ONC will manage and analyze underwater acoustic data to measure underwater noise in key marine mammal habitats.

This investment will also provide more data on the speed and direction of ocean currents. This information has the potential to enhance navigation and assist in emergency response.

Improving and expanding the ocean observation network will ultimately provide a better understanding of our coastal environments.  


“Our Government is firmly committed to protecting our oceans for future generations. We are thrilled to be collaborating with Ocean Networks Canada to gain a better understanding of our underwater environment allowing for a better response to marine incidents and the conservation of marine ecosystems.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

ONC’s innovative technologies and expertise in cabled observatories, interactive sensors, and big data management enables informed, evidence-based decision-making for good ocean management, disaster mitigation and environmental protection. It also helps keep Canada at the technological forefront of a sector that creates economic benefits and good paying jobs for Canadians.”

Jamie Cassels, QC President, University of Victoria

“Ocean Networks Canada is excited to be working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to deliver products that align well with the Oceans Protection Plan objectives.”

Dr. Kate Moran, President and CEO, Ocean Networks Canada

Quick Facts

  • These new science investments are funded through the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, which was announced in November 2016. The Oceans Protection Plan is creating a world-leading marine safety system that provides economic opportunities for Canadians today, while protecting our coastlines and clean water for generations to come.

Associated Links


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Laura Gareau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada



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