Government of Canada celebrates the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science

News release

March 3, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario - Canada and our partners around the world are facing unprecedented challenges from an economic crisis, climate change and a recovery from COVID-19. Canada and our international counterparts recognize the potential that healthy oceans will have as a powerful solution to these problems. That is why the United Nations declared a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) 2021‑2030.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, officially launched the Ocean Decade in Canada at a virtual event. Speaking to members of the ocean community, Minister Jordan reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to ocean health and science to support a sustainable and prosperous blue economy.

To mark the launch of the Ocean Decade, the Minister also released Canada’s Oceans Now, 2020, which informs Canadians on the current state of Canada’s oceans and highlights some of the key challenges facing our oceans. This edition integrates the latest scientific knowledge to give a national perspective on the status and trends of the physical environment, species and food webs in our oceans.

The Ocean Decade is an important initiative that will inform the Government of Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy and will shine a spotlight on the importance of ocean science. Through our shared knowledge of the oceans, we will build a sustainable blue economy that can provide economic opportunities, empower coastal communities, power our cities, transport our people and goods, as well as provide innovative solutions to global challenges.


“Canada is proud to join the United Nations in celebrating the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. As we grow Canada’s Blue Economy domestically, it is imperative that we also support other ocean nations to develop more sustainable ocean industries. Our oceans are shared entities, and the problems they are facing require global solutions. Together, we are able to harness scientific research and innovative technology to protect the health of our ocean and create better, more sustainable ways of working on the water.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The Ocean Decade is an international initiative led by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It encourages partners from around the world to collaborate to advance ocean science to support sustainable development of our oceans.

  • Canada’s Oceans Now, 2020 is a national public report on marine ecosystems in Canada’s three oceans. It is the third report in the State of the Ocean series following the Atlantic and Arctic reports which were released in 2019 and 2020.

  • A national report on the state of our oceans will be released every four years. The next state of the ocean report to be released will be on the Pacific Ocean.

  • The blue economy is an economy driven by sustainable, ocean resources. Pre-COVID-19, Canada’s ocean-based economy contributed significantly to national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adding approximately $31.7 billion annually (1.6 per cent of total GDP) and nearly 300,000 jobs across a broad range of sectors.

Associated links


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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