On World Oceans Day 2023, the Government of Canada invests in Canada’s oceans and the species within them

News release

June 8, 2023

Ottawa, Ontario - Our oceans are changing. Climate change and human activities are affecting the diverse marine ecosystems, unique features, and important species that contribute not only to the health of our oceans, but to our cultural identity.

On this World Oceans Day, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced investments aimed at protecting Canada’s oceans and the marine species and habitats within them. Minister Murray announced successful funding recipients for the Oceans Management Contribution Program as well as a Call for Proposals for the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk (CNFASAR).

The Oceans Management Contribution Program provides $145 million over 5 years to advance outreach, monitoring and stewardship, and capacity building initiatives across the country that help conserve and protect marine areas. The Program’s second national Call for Proposals closed in December 2022 and identified $11.01 million in funding for 10 projects over the next three years. These projects will help Canada achieve its ambitious targets of conserving 25% of our oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

To help protect aquatic species at risk, CNFASAR focuses on multispecies projects in priority areas across the country and also targets key marine threats. Marine projects previously funded include work that assesses the effects of underwater noise from vessels on ringed seals and bowhead whales, as well as work that aims to reduce entanglements and ship strikes to marine species at risk.

Budget 2023 announced renewed funding up to $40 million over three years for CNFASAR that will allow additional projects to be funded. Fisheries and Oceans Canada will soon be accepting proposals for projects that support the conservation of biodiversity across Canada through collaboration and partnership to recover aquatic species at risk, including for projects that work to protect at-risk marine species from fishing interactions and physical and acoustic disturbances.

By working in collaboration with key partners, Indigenous Peoples, stakeholders and academia, these initiatives will further Canada’s efforts to conserve our marine spaces and protect the species and habitats within them.

World Oceans Day is a time to reflect upon and celebrate the beauty and importance of our oceans. It’s also a time for renewed inspiration, to protect the ecosystems that contribute to our way of life, now and for future generations. 


“I'm pleased to announce federal funding through the Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk and the Oceans Management Contribution Program. On this World Oceans Day, working together to understand and protect marine ecosystems has never been more urgent.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 included an investment of almost $1 billion to further protect the health of our oceans and support ambitious marine conservation targets of conserving 25% of our oceans by 2025.

  • At the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022, Canada joined global leaders in supporting the ambitious target of conserving 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

  • To date, Canada has protected over 14% of our oceans, including through the establishment of 14 Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas and 60 other effective-area based conservation measures, such as marine refuges.

  • The Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk contributes to the sustainability of Canada’s aquatic ecosystems by supporting multi-species and ecosystem approaches that focus on priority  places and priority marine threats.

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Matthew Dillon
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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