Government of Canada invests in ocean observation science to help protect Canada’s oceans

News release

August 11, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario - Canada’s three oceans are fundamental to our identity and culture. They provide recreational and commercial opportunities to Indigenous and coastal communities, and connect us globally. Working with research organizations to collect and share information and data on ocean conditions is key to protecting our oceans for the benefit of future generations.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, announced $8.7 million in funding to Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria, to support their ocean research and observation activities. Observing all three of our coasts will help support the sustainable management of the ecosystems and species that Canadians depend on for our livelihood, safety and culture. It is an investment in the information we need to overcome modern ocean challenges – like warming oceans, rising sea levels and ocean acidification – that can affect our blue economy.

This funding builds on the Government of Canada’s investment made through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and helps to ensure Canada remains an ocean science leader by continuing to provide ocean observation data in real-time to a network of researchers around the world.

The Government of Canada is developing a Blue Economy Strategy that will guide future federal investments and actions on all three coasts and across all ocean sectors. Ocean observation data play a key role in enhancing the ocean economy and help us understand how economic practices impact the environment.


"Canada is an ocean nation, with the longest coastline in the world. It’s vital that we understand our oceans – how they are changing, how to support their ecosystems, and how to sustainably manage their resources. Ocean Networks Canada is a leader in ocean science. By investing in their research, our government is investing in healthier oceans and a stronger, more sustainable stronger blue economy for all Canadians.”

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

“Ocean Networks Canada is committed to growing Canada’s leadership in the sustainable blue economy through our world-leading innovation in ocean monitoring technology. Our culture of innovation and partnership leverages science and Indigenous knowledge to develop ocean intelligence, and evolve ocean technology to, address the biggest challenge today—climate change, which was so clearly urgently highlighted this week from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Kate Moran, president and chief executive officer, UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada

“Today’s investment in marine science and innovation will have a major impact and ensure Canada is at the forefront of oceans research, management, climate solutions and the blue economy. This funding shows Canada’s unwavering commitment to protecting our oceans, coastlines and industries for future generations. This support comes at an opportune time—the first year of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development—and will allow our scientists and policy-makers to ensure that ocean science delivers greater benefits for both the ocean ecosystem and for the Canadian and global society.” 

Kevin Hall, president and vice-chancellor, University of Victoria

Quick facts

  • Ocean Networks Canada was established in 2007 by the University of Victoria and operates several world-leading ocean observatories.

  • Canada has the longest coastline in the world, measuring over 243,000 kilometers. 

  • Nearly seven million Canadians live in coastal communities that rely heavily on ocean industries. Combined, these industries contribute $36.6 billion to our annual GDP and support almost 300,000 good paying jobs.

  • Canada’s blue economy and its future growth depend on the sustainable use and management of our ocean resources. A Blue Economy Strategy will enable us to protect and revitalize the health of our oceans while taking advantage of emerging economic growth opportunities throughout ocean sectors.

Associated links


Olivia McMackin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Jennifer Kwan
Media Relations and Public Affairs, University of Victoria

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