Our monitoring activities collect and analyze data to provide the scientific foundation for improving our understanding of ocean variability within seasons, years or decades. Monitoring helps us detect and understand whether changes in aquatic environments are related to human activity or natural variability.
Monitoring provides the data needed to support our advice, which informs government decisions related to the management of fisheries, oceans, and coastal infrastructure. This data also supports the development and refinement of models which can help us project where different species are likely to be found in the future.
We collect data in the oceans surrounding Canada using research ships, satellites, moorings and autonomous underwater vehicles. In the Arctic, our capacity to monitor is more limited due to the harsh conditions for ships and access to this remote area. DFO has ongoing programs in the Atlantic and Pacific regions to support the systematic collection of data for long-term ocean monitoring which is relevant for climate change research.
Monitoring impacts on plants and animals
Monitoring helps scientists understand how past ocean conditions may have affected plants and animals. This helps us to better understand what is happening in the oceans today and what is likely to change in the future.
Our scientists undertake research and monitoring to better understand the impacts of climate change, such as:
- the impact that changing ocean chemistry, including ocean acidification and changes in oxygen concentrations, is having on our aquatic animals and resources, and
- the effect that rising ocean temperatures will have on the distribution of Canada’s valuable fish stocks
Better research through partnerships
Our work is not done in isolation. We work with Canadian and international partners to coordinate monitoring activities. This research contributes to the global state of knowledge around our oceans.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada values strong partnerships and collaborations with other federal and provincial agencies, international science associations as well as non-governmental organizations (such as the Ecology Action Centre).These partnerships and collaborations help us to better coordinate efforts, maximize use of resources, share knowledge and expertise.
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