Language selection


National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence

Learn about the Canadian Arctic and Canada's National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence.

On this page

About the research centre

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

We developed the National Centre for Arctic Aquatic Research Excellence to:

  • support expanding:
    • Arctic legislation
    • commitments to northerners and Canadians
  • increase co-ordination of scientific information relating to Arctic marine and freshwater environments

The centre 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

Through recommendations from other government departments, universities and northern advisory groups, the centre co-ordinates activities related to:

  • vessel and infrastructure resources
  • marine/freshwater research priority planning
  • leveraging national and international partnerships

The centre is also a central planning and financial accountability mechanism for DFO. It facilitates regional coordination to improve the delivery of the Arctic Science Program to address DFO priorities in the North.

Over the next 5 years, issues that will remain a high priority include:

  • tourism
  • freshwater use
  • climate change
  • emerging fisheries
  • coastal management
  • sea-ice cover change
  • oil and gas development
  • local quality of food fisheries
  • local sustainable food fisheries
  • diamond exploration and extraction
  • addressing key baseline research gaps and the adoption of an ecosystem approach

The centre works to have greater coordination and enhanced partnerships with:

  • other relevant government departments
  • national and international agencies

About the Canadian Arctic

Canada's Arctic coastline is in excess of 162,000 km. This is twice as much coastline as the Atlantic and Pacific coasts combined. Canada has the responsibility for close to 25% 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 are 2 of the 10 largest lakes in the world, and the largest lakes completely within Canadian territory.

The Arctic is an important part of the earth's system, as it's connected to:

  • climate
  • sea level
  • ecosystems
  • human activities
  • biogeochemical cycles

Through these connections, the earth's high latitudes respond to, amplify and drive changes elsewhere. The Arctic is especially important and relevantm, as humans have an increasing impact on the planet and the human condition is increasingly affected by global changes.

Some 120,000 people, both Indigenous and more recent immigrants, now live in the Canadian Arctic. Arctic communities border a body of water, such as:

  • a river
  • the ocean
  • a major inland water body

The well-being of the people is closely linked to their environment, and they, in turn, shape the environment in which they live.


For information about research collaboration, contact:

Robert Fudge
Director of NCAARE
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
501 University Cr
Winnipeg MB  R3T 2N6

Telephone: 204-983-5217

Date modified: