Discover the ocean.Understand the planet.

Working for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada.


Evidence-Based Decision Making

The state of the ocean is an important indicator of the overall health of the planet. The ocean off the coasts of Canada, including the Arctic, comprises some of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on Earth. This makes Ocean Networks Canada data relevant to global users.

While global temperature tracking is suggesting 2016 will follow 2014 and 2015 as the warmest year on record, the effects are acute and immediate in the Canadian Arctic where climate change has already warmed more than twice the global average. This warming is having a dramatic effect on Arctic sea-ice, with reports of both low areal coverage and low total thickness.

Arctic sea ice: slow growth in 2016

Erinn Raftery and researcher Jeff Sorensen

In June 2014, ONC installed a cabled water column profiling system in Saanich Inlet. The inshore profiling system consists of a surface buoy equipped with a meteorological station and a winch used to raise and lower an underwater instrument package through the water column. This year, University of Victoria postdoctoral researcher Jeff Sorensen is leading a project to study how the chemistry of the Saanich inlet changes over the course of a year.

Saanich Inlet and the science of dead zones

The Internet-Connected Ocean

Map of Ocean Networks Canada Canadian Infrastructure and Partners Map.

Ocean Networks Canada monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously gather data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future.

System Status

  •   Database
  •   Data Acquisition
  •   Oceans 2.0

Building a Smarter Ocean

Smart Ocean Systems™ operationalizes Ocean Networks Canada’s innovative technologies and expertise for the benefit of Canada and the world. Cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management enable evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation, and environmental protection.

Cambridge Bay annual maintenance team

As shrinking sea ice ushers in a new era for arctic tourism, Ocean Networks Canada’s (ONC) newly expanded Cambridge Bay observatory becomes a vital tool for monitoring ocean health and marine safety.

A small ONC team was in Cambridge Bay from 21-28 August, maintaining and upgrading the observatory and building relationships with the community. Stay tuned for an update on the recently expanded Arctic Ocean monitoring system.

Cambridge Bay observatory monitors Arctic ocean health and safety

In June 2016, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) successfully deployed and connected the first of several earthquake early warning sensors on the Cascadia subduction zone. It will be part of a network of seismic sensors that ONC will install underwater and on land as part of an earthquake early warning system (EEWS) in partnership with Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC).

Deployed: the first spike for British Columbia's earthquake early warning system

Big Data. Big Solutions.

Long-term, continuous scientific data from the ocean environment are gathered by Ocean Networks Canada and made available through Oceans 2.0—a powerful online data management system. Oceans 2.0, combined with high-performance computing, allows ONC to provide ocean analytics that assist researchers, communities, industry, and policy-makers in making evidence-based decisions in Canada and globally.

Earthquake Data



EMPOWER System Architecture Diagram

With hundreds of instruments monitoring Canada’s marine environment, ONC gathers the same amount of data as the Hubble Telescope. Turning a firehose of high resolution data into useful knowledge is the challenge of the century. ONC’s robust and sophisticated data management system, Oceans 2.0, is already recognized as a state-of-the-art ocean management tool for marine decision-making, and it’s about to get even better.

Taking ocean data to the next level: custom web services for marine decision-making

ONC crew aboard the CCGV Tully

Twice a year, every spring and fall, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) heads to sea aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel (CCGV) John Tully to maintain and upgrade ocean monitoring instrumentation in Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia. Between 4 - 11 October 2016, in addition to the infrastructure maintenance priorities of the expedition, the ONC team also successfully deployed new instrumentation, carried out several activities in support of our science community, and collected samples for benchmarking and calibration of instruments.

Monitoring Saanich Inlet and the Strait of Georgia: Fall inshore expedition (2016)

Undergraduate student, Ada Loewen, just completed her co-op term at Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) as part of her combined University of Victoria degree in physics and ocean sciences. Using data from the Cambridge Bay observatory, Ada improved a one-dimensional thermodynamic sea-ice model funded through ONC’s Safe Passage project with Polar Knowledge Canada.

Ocean Networks co-op student improves thermodynamic sea-ice model



5 to 9 Dec 2016, (All day) - (All day) Watch Live! ArcticNet
12 to 16 Dec 2016, (All day) - (All day) Watch Live! American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting