Ocean Sciences at DFO generates advice for both Canadian and international decision makers:
Emergency preparedness: Coastal communities and infrastructure are frequently at risk due to storm surges and less frequently to tsunamis (click here to read about the Newfoundland tsunami of 1929). Forecasting these natural hazard events is vital to the mitigation of the damage (loss life, property and environment) they may cause. Vast areas of the Quebec shores in the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Canada are at risk to storm surge events. As recently as January 2010, the combination of high astronomical tides and storm surge resulted in coastal flooding and infrastructure destruction along the Atlantic shoreline. This advice is provided to decision makers in emergency measure organizations ranging from Public Safety Canada to municipalities to Environment Canada, etc.
- Atlantic Tsunami Warning System
- Atlantic Storm Prediction Centre
- Canadian Ice Service
- Pacific Tsunami Warning System
Operational oceanography: Real-time operations for at-sea search and rescue, navigation purposes, effective and efficient offshore industry operations (e.g. offshore oil and gas, fishing fleets) etc. require ocean weather forecasting advice. Operational oceanography forecasts are generated through the analysis and predictions of ocean currents, ocean temperatures, ocean salt content, as well as ocean waves. This information is provided to a variety of organizations, including the Canadian Coast guard and fishery fleet managers and is used for tracking and aiding navigation of maritime vessels.
- Bonne Bay Observatory (Memorial University and Gros Morne Co-operating Association)
- NEPTUNE Canada (Ocean Networks Canada)
- Smart Bay (Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland)
- St. Lawrence Global Observatory
- VENUS (Ocean Networks Canada)
Health of the Oceans: With global climate change, it is increasingly important to monitor the state of the health of Canada's oeans so as to be able to detect changes in marine ecosystems. With this early detection information, policy and decision makers are able to respond and adapt more quickly to these changes.
The Ocean Forecasting program provides data and forecasts on physical, chemical and biological features to enable identification of ocean health, status and trends features (e.g. phytoplankton blooms, displacement of currents and ocean front systems, changes in ocean pH, salinity and temperatures). This advice on ocean health is invaluable in ocean management activities such as designing and managing Marine Protected Areas; in habitat management decisions; as well as in fisheries resource management decisions; and many more.
- Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program Bulletins
- Arctic Ocean Science Report by The integrated Arctic Ocean Observing System (iAOOS)
- The Canadian Arctic Northern Contaminants Program
- Oceans Management Approach at DFO
- State of the Pacific Ocean Reports
Provision of International Advice: Oceanography at DFO contributes to global ocean policy by providing advice to different international organizations including:
- International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
- International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)
- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM)
- Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Scientific Council (NAFO)
- North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES)
- Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR)