National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence (NCAARE)

The Canadian Arctic

Canada's Arctic coastline is in excess of 162,000 km - representing twice as much coastline as the Atlantic and Pacific coasts combined. Canada has responsibility for close to one fourth of the world's Arctic.

The land mass of the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories comprises 39% of the land surface area of Canada. Great Bear and Great Slave Lake, two of the ten largest lakes in the world, are the largest lakes totally within Canadian territory.

The Arctic is an integral component of the Earth system. It is connected to biogeochemical cycles, ecosystems, sea level, climate and human activities. Through these connections, the Earth's high latitudes respond to, amplify and drive changes elsewhere. At a time when humans have an increasing impact on the planet and when the human condition is increasingly affected by global changes, the Arctic is especially important and relevant.

Some 120,000 people, both indigenous and more recent immigrants, now live in the Canadian Arctic. All of the Arctic communities border the ocean, a major inland water body, or a river, showing the importance of the water and its resources to the life of the Northern residents. The well-being of the people is closely linked to their environment and they in turn shape the environment in which they live.

NCAARE was developed in response to a need for increased co-ordination of scientific information relating to Arctic marine and freshwater environments and to support expanding Arctic legislation and commitments to Northerners and Canadians.

NCAARE and the Arctic Research Division of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are based at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

NCAARE plays an active role in:

  • Establishing DFO Arctic Priorities.
  • Delivery of the national Arctic program.
  • Reporting on the National Arctic Science Program.
  • Planning for federal government Arctic research funding.

NCAARE supports the improved interaction of research and operational needs in DFO by developing plans integrated with the broad DFO research agenda and National Northern Agendas. NCAARE co-ordinates in areas related to vessel and infrastructure resources, leveraging national and international partnerships and marine/freshwater research priority planning through recommendations from OGDs, universities and Northern Advisory groups.

NCAARE is a central planning and financial accountability mechanism that facilitates regional coordination to improve the delivery of the Arctic Science program to address Departmental priorities in the North.

Over the next five years, the following issues will remain a high priority for NCAARE to address in the North:

  • Emerging fisheries.
  • Diamond exploration and extraction.
  • Oil and gas development.
  • Climate change.
  • Sea-ice cover change.
  • Local sustainable food fisheries.
  • Local quality of food fisheries.
  • Coastal management.
  • Tourism.
  • Freshwater use.
  • Addressing key baseline research gaps and the adoption of an ecosystem approach.

The broad mandate of NCAARE as a Centre of Expertise of Arctic Aquatic Research has brought great benefits to the department and to Arctic Science, through greater coordination and by enhancing partnerships with other relevant Government departments and national and international agencies.

NCAARE is committed to the development of coordinated research programs in areas of Arctic aquatic environmental and oceanographic ecosystem research related to national northern science priorities and the DFO mandate.


For information about research collaboration with NCAARE, please contact:

Robert Fudge

Director of NCAARE
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada, R3T 2N6

Telephone: (204) 983-5217

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