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.

2017 is a big year for Canada: not only is our pioneer nation celebrating its 150th birthday, but the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is 20 years old this month. To celebrate this milestone and showcase the far-reaching impact of two decades of Canadian innovation, CFI gathered stories that show how research builds community—making it timely to highlight the international ocean community that has constellated around ONC's world-leading ocean science infrastructure.

The global ocean community celebrates Innovation Canada's twentieth birthday

Thornyheads captured on left, bottom trawl scar mark on seafloor on the right.

In November 2016, ONC scientists co-authored a publication in Deep-Sea Research II on the effects of deep-sea bottom trawling on seafloor marine life, already stressed by the naturally low oxygen waters of the north Pacific. This is the first study to measure the effects on the fauna living on the soft-sediment seabed of Vancouver Island’s continental shelf and slope.

The cumulative effects of bottom trawling and low oxygen on marine life

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


Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) applauds the United States and Canada in their resolve to embrace opportunities and confront challenges in the changing Arctic through Indigenous partnerships and responsible, science-based leadership.

On 20 December, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau issued a United States-Canada Joint Arctic Leaders’ Statement to launch actions ensuring a strong, sustainable, and viable Arctic economy and ecosystem. Actions include low-impact shipping, science-based management of marine resources, and freedom from the future risks of offshore oil and gas activity. Together, these actions set the stage for deeper partnerships with other Arctic nations, including through the Arctic Council.

United States and Canada unite to protect the Arctic

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)



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