Ocean observation is important to understanding how our oceans are changing and predicting how our coasts and fisheries are affected by those changes. Increasing the availability and sharing of ocean data and the resulting scientific knowledge ensures Canadians can safely navigate through our coastal waters, maintain our coastal economy, and build resilient coastal infrastructure.
On 7 March 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced an investment of $1.5 million per year to support the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS). An additional $2 million over four years will be provided by the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR).
Over the next two years, the Government of Canada and MEOPAR will partner with the Ocean Frontier Institute, Dalhousie University, the Coastal and Ocean Information Network Atlantic, the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland, the Ocean Tracking Network, the St. Lawrence Global Observatory, the Tula Foundation, the University of Victoria and Ocean Networks Canada to implement the first phase of CIOOS.
This national collaboration will make ocean data around the country findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable, leveraging existing Canadian and international ocean observation data into a national system. This objective will be achieved through a federated structure with regional associations providing a local nexus of data management expertise for, and engagement with, local data producers and data consumers. Three regional associations have been established in the Atlantic, Gulf of St Lawrence and Pacific regions.
The CIOOS Pacific regional association is hosted by the University of Victoria and relies on the ocean data expertise of Ocean Networks Canada and the Hakai Institute. CIOOS Pacific is led by Executive Director Denis D’Amours, who brings a lifetime of expertise in the management and practice of ocean science in Canada’s three oceans.
“This initiative is bringing together so many great ideas that I’ve been passionate about for many years,” says Denis who previously worked as Director of the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Pacific Region and has participated in many national and international ocean science initiatives. “CIOOS speaks to the value of ocean observing to both understand our changing ocean, and to guide us in the wise, safe and sustainable use of the ocean. When I heard about the opportunity to get involved, I jumped at the chance!”
Find out more about CIOOS: cioos.ca