Language selection


Benefits of marine conservation

Learn about the benefits of conserving and protecting Canada’s oceans.


How we manage and take care of our oceans matters to Canadians.
Which is why, In 2021, the Government of Canada invested almost one billion dollars to protect and conserve them.

This historic investment will help us achieve our ambitious targets of conserving 25% of Canada’s oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Today, more than 14% of our oceans have been protected through the establishment of marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, such as marine refuges.

Dr. Sara Harris, University of British Columbia Faculty of Science: “The oceans are one of the few really critical things that sustain life on earth. They provide us with food. They provide that directly and also indirectly through the rain that falls on our crops. And they also actually are out there all the time absorbing the excess carbon emissions that we're putting into the atmosphere. Oceans are important in a lot of cultures and they really are just awe inspiring in many ways.”

While working to conserve our incredible ocean spaces, we must also work to manage and maintain the important, related industries that many communities rely on.

Protecting our coastal waters does not mean shutting down the important industries that rely on our oceans. We can do this be tailoring our conservation work to address risks that are specific to each area.

The oceans serve as part of a global transportation system both above and below the surface. We use them to ship goods around the world and marine life uses them as migration and feeding routes.

The oceans also provide us with an array of recreational and tourism opportunities, which are a critical part of our blue economy.

However one of the most significant roles our oceans play is in helping mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Ocean currents act as conveyer belts of warm and cold water, influencing weather and helping regulate temperatures.

With the devastating impacts of climate change being felt around the world, we must work now more than ever to protect our oceans.

Dr. Sara Harris: “The oceans are getting warmer, more acidic, less oxygenated. That's putting stressors on the organisms that live there. Some of them are actually able to move and they're moving toward colder waters, if they can. Some can't move. Some are adapting. Some can't adapt. And those, for example, who live in really cold waters, there actually isn't another colder place for them to go. So these are some of the impacts.”
Building climate resilience will ensure healthy stocks for our fishing industries, that play an important role in our economy.

Healthy oceans support healthy communities.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with provinces, territories, Indigenous governments and peoples, and industry stakeholders to conserve and protect our oceans, now and for generations to come.

Learn more about how we’re conserving and protecting Canada’s marine spaces at:

IMPAC5 has been endorsed as an official United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) Action.

Date modified: