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.

You’ve probably heard of the “Internet of Things”. It’s a connected network of everyday objects that talk to each other, such as cars, kitchen appliances and heart monitors. But did you know that the Internet of Things also extends deep underwater off Canada’s three coasts? Think of it as a Fitbit for the ocean. Made possible by world-leading Oceans 2.0 data management software, Ocean Networks Canada’s infrastructure is continuously monitoring the pulse and vital signs of our deep sea and coastal environments.

Oceans 2.0: An Internet of Things for the Ocean

When Ocean Networks Canada’s marine operations team hauled out the Campbell River community observatory for its annual maintenance, they were in for a surprise. A herd of sea urchins had made the platform their home and were earning their keep by feeding on the marine debris that normally accumulates on underwater infrastructure, aka biofouling.

A viral sensation: hungry sea urchins keep Campbell River observatory clean

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.

One of Ocean Networks Canada's goals as a Centre of Excellence is to strengthen domestic collaboration nationally. To meet this objective, in 2012 ONC’s Innovation Centre facilitated the creation of the Ocean Technology Alliance Canada (OTAC), linking Canada's regional associations to help grow the economic capacity of Canada’s ocean technology sector. In December 2016, OTAC was formally incorporated as a national association for the ocean technology sector. In August 2017, a new OTAC website was launched to take this Canada-wide blue economy collaboration to the next level.

Ocean Tech Alliance Canada: A National Voice for the Blue Economy

In a banner year for Canada, when science and state are more aligned than ever before, we owe our future generations the courtesy of protecting the natural wonder of our North by shining a light on its limitations before pursuing its opportunities. If we don’t act soon, we risk losing control over a defining piece of our 150-year identity that is melting away before our very eyes into the pages of history.

The Great Thaw: our melting Arctic must be monitored and Canada should lead the way

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

Members of the media are invited to an international workshop led by Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria, where scientists will discuss the importance of obtaining accurate and reliable data from ocean-observing systems for ocean acidification. Ocean acidification occurs when atmospheric carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, making seawater more acidic. A more acidic ocean has a detrimental impact on marine animals that form calcium carbonate shells, like juvenile oysters, clams and mussels. In a more acidic ocean, shell growth can be stunted and survival rates decreased.

International ocean acidification workshop

Expanded community engagement into more Arctic communities is helping Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) carry out the ocean science that matters most to the people who live in Canada’s North. Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) announced today that ONC will receive $247,000 to expand its successful community-engagement program in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to the communities of Kugluktuk and Gjoa Haven. The two-year grant, focused on the science of sea ice, was awarded by POLAR and is a continuation of their support of ONC’s leadership of community engagement in the Arctic.

Local knowledge, needs will drive Arctic sea ice research



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10 to 25 Mar 2018, (All day) - (All day) Watch Live! Pacific Rim Whale Festival
13 to 15 Mar 2018, (All day) - (All day) Watch Live! Oceanology International
14 to 16 Mar 2018, (All day) - (All day) Watch Live! Globe Forum: The Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business