#KnowtheOcean with Ocean Networks Canada

Ocean Networks Canada enhances life on Earth by providing knowledge and leadership that deliver solutions for science, society, and industry.

The University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada monitors the west and east coasts of Canada and the Arctic to continuously deliver data in real-time for scientific research that helps communities, governments and industry make informed decisions about our future. Using cabled observatories, remote control systems and interactive sensors, and big data management ONC enables evidence-based decision-making on ocean management, disaster mitigation, and environmental protection.

The state of the ocean is an important indicator of the overall health of the planet. Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) is committed to being an active contributor toward enhancing life on Earth by measuring, capturing, and reporting on the health of the ocean along all three Canadian coasts and making ONC data relevant to global users.



Understanding human-induced change.

  • Observing impacts from ocean temperature changes, increased noise, dissolved oxygen depletion, and increased acidification on fish and ocean systems.

Life in diverse environments.

  • Understanding the importance of biodiversity to ecosystem function requires knowledge about where species live, characteristics about their habitats, their roles in the community and how biodiversity changes over time.

Interconnections among the seafloor, ocean and atmosphere.

  • Studying volcanic activity at ocean ridges, gas venting from the ocean floor, methane hydrate dynamics, low oxygen water masses, and ocean-atmosphere interactions help to advance knowledge of the earth system.

Seafloor and sediment in motion.

  • Most of the largest earthquakes occur in the ocean’s subduction zones, such as offshore Canada’s west coast, and impact society, causing death, injury and infrastructure damage directly and through the generation of tsunamis. Similarly, studying underwater landslides is essential for understanding how they generate tsunamis.



Long-term, continuous scientific data from the ocean environment are gathered by ONC and made available through Oceans 2.0⎯a powerful online data management system. Oceans 2.0 (read more here), 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.



Coastal communities are a facing wide range of rapid ocean changes. Access to up-to-date scientific data enables communities to make informed decisions about their own coast. ONC fosters ocean literacy by collaborating with Indigenous knowledge holders and local experts to develop resources and programs for educators, students and citizen scientists.



Equipped with world-leading observatory technologies, ONC is a global community of researchers who are uniquely positioned to contribute to this urgent cause. Now…when it matters most.



Climate change and its effects on the planet are scientifically measurable and have been observed by ONC’s network of sensors and demonstrated in some of its data products. ONC works with organizations and governments that align with ONC’s view that man-made climate change is real and the search for mitigation and adaptation solutions is essential for maintaining life on Earth.

ONC supports the work of the Paris signatories, acknowledges the ambitious goals of this Agreement, and believes that it has an integral role to play in developing solutions and measuring the effects of climate change on the marine environment.

As a strong advocate for the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ONC pursues research and technological projects and collaborates with leading climate change scientists, industry, academia, and government and non-governmental institutions who recognize that solutions are warranted and that the time to act is now.

Recognizing that the Paris Agreement (under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the initial Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) pledged by its signatories reflect the dual challenge of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring the world has adequate access to affordable and reliable supplies of energy, ONC will consider collaborating with companies who have pledged to work toward reducing emissions in their operations and to create products that help consumers reduce their emissions.

Ocean Networks Canada is committed to aligning its activities to its bold vision and its aspirational goals that are built on the foundation of being a world-leading science enterprise.