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Aquatic ecosystem science

Ecosystem science supports the integrated management of diverse human activities such as:

  • fishing
  • aquaculture
  • transportation
  • oil and gas exploration

Ecosystem-based research and scientific advice assists decision-makers who manage:

  • fisheries
  • fish habitat
  • aquaculture
  • ocean resources
  • the recovery of species-at-risk

They provide scientific evidence and tools to better manage and understand how these activities interact together and affect aquatic ecosystems.

We used to manage fisheries and oceans activities on an activity-by-activity basis, focusing on the intended targets of human activities (such as a specific commercial fishery). We’re moving towards an ecosystem approach to keep up with international advancements in the field, outlined in The Science Framework for the Future.

We use environmental science work to understand how marine and freshwater ecosystems function and how human activities affect them. We also created multidisciplinary centres of expertise to address priority areas of ecosystem and regulatory science.

Our science objectives for an ecosystem approach to management are:

  1. Research should improve our knowledge of key ecosystem relationships and linkages to human activities, and be broadly applicable to all departmental responsibilities.
  2. Monitoring, data and information management should produce ecosystem-focused products and services of value to the whole department.
  3. Scientific advice should be provided from an ecosystem perspective and be integrated across client sectors.

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