Government of Canada is taking action to better understand the effects of contaminants on aquatic species

News Release

Ottawa, ON - Our oceans, lakes and rivers provide Canadians with food, recreation and well-paying jobs. The Government of Canada is committed to understanding harmful stressors in our environment so that we can better protect our oceans and freshwater for future generations.

Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, announced today that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing $2.7 million to Canadian researchers to study the biological effects of contaminants on our fish, marine mammals, and other aquatic species.

Funded through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s National Contaminants Advisory Group, thirteen universities and not-for-profit research organizations will conduct single- and multi-year research projects on aquaculture therapeutants, pesticides, and other contaminants of emerging concern, including microplastics. The results of these research projects will help inform the DFO’s decisions on how to protect and use our marine and freshwater environments.

Together with Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea-to-Sky Country, Mr. Beech also announced that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is partnering with the Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI) on a $1.3 million partnership to research microplastics in the Pacific Ocean and to study the impacts of contaminants on the health and reproduction of the Southern Resident Killer Whale.

CORI will be conducting this research in DFO’s new Pacific Science Enterprise Centre. Located in West Vancouver, the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre is poised to become a multi-partner innovation hub providing a state-of-the-art platform for collaborative scientific research.


Quotes

“We are proud to support Canadian researchers who are working to understand how various contaminants, from pesticides to microplastics, are affecting the health of our fish and marine mammals, including the Southern Resident Killer Whale and the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga. This research will help us make informed, science-based decisions to support healthy ecosystems and fisheries.”

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

“We are proud to welcome the Coastal Ocean Research Institute at our new Pacific Science Enterprise Centre. We look forward to continue working with scientists, researchers, Indigenous peoples, government partners, academia, the fishing industry, NGOs, and the broader business community, to ensure that this Centre yields great research on behalf of all Canadians. It is inspirational to see so many stakeholders working together for the benefit of future generations." 

Terry Beech, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“We are very pleased to work alongside our DFO colleagues at the new Pacific Science Enterprise Centre on topics that matter to Canadians. Access to PSEC laboratory facilities will allow us to carry out critical research that will contribute to the protection of the oceans for future generations.”

Dr. Peter Ross, Vice President, Research, Ocean Wise Conservation Association

“The ocean is the economic, social and cultural lifeline for coastal British Columbians. The investments and research partnerships made today will help us to better protect and support this vital resource.”

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade and M.P. for West Vancouver — Sunshine Coast — Sea to Sky Country

Quick Facts

  • The National Contaminants Advisory Group works with external experts to generate scientific knowledge on the biological effects of contaminants on aquatic organisms and provides advice to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government departments on those effects.

  • In Summer 2017, the Department announced that it would establish two Science Enterprise Centres: the Atlantic Science Enterprise Centre at DFO’s Gulf Fisheries Centre in Moncton, New Brunswick; and, the Pacific Science Enterprise Centre at DFO’s Centre for Aquaculture and Environmental Research in West Vancouver.

  • Canada’s two Science Enterprise Centres will serve as research hubs for collaboration and will expand research activities, make ocean science more accessible, integrate traditional ecological knowledge in research processes, and promote community engagement and citizen science.

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Contacts

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Vincent Hughes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474
vincent.hughes@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

NR-PR-18-05E

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