Canada has the longest coastline in the world. The Government of Canada is to provide $32.8 million in support of Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), to manage a network of underwater sensors off Canada’s West Coast. These sensors record and broadcast, in real time, data and images from the sea floor. This information is used to analyse earthquakes, research fish populations and predict the movement of tsunamis.

“This investment is a good example of the important role played by Major Science Initiatives in fostering Canada’s excellence in basic research,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “Facilities like these, across the country, are critical to Canada’s research competitiveness.”

The ONC Observatory pioneers a new generation of advanced ocean observation systems that, using power and the Internet, provide continuous, 24/7 monitoring of ocean processes and events, as they happen.

“The significance of this funding support cannot be overstated,” says Dr. Kate Moran, president and CEO of Ocean Networks Canada. “ It enables Canada to maintain global leadership in cabled ocean observatory technology and research while playing a major role in understanding our oceans in an era of significant change.”

Specialized underwater microphones, or hydrophones, are tracking the movements of marine mammals and giving us a better understanding of how human activity in busy inland waters is affecting marine wildlife such as endangered resident orcas.

Specialised sensors, cameras and remotely controlled sampling devices are learning more about life forms unlike anything else found on Earth, such as organisms that thrive in the dark using energy from chemical reactions.

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is a not-for-profit society created in 2007 by the University of Victoria to develop and manage the ONC Observatory

Further Reading
University of Victoria