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Fisheries and Oceans

Aquatic and marine science plays a very important role in the Canadian social and economic fabric. Coastal communities, mariners, industries, and many individual Canadians rely on sound scientific information and advice in their day-to-day life. Fisheries and Oceans is a world-class science and technology organization based on leadership, vision and dedication to excellence. Future challenges include addressing the government's commitment to sustainable development; understanding climate change in relation to Canada’s  marine and freshwater resource; expanding aquaculture production in a sustainable manner; responding to species-at-risk legislation; and providing a comprehensive science program in the Canadian Arctic.

The Department's science comprises four work activities:

Fisheries and Biodiversity Science: The aim is to provide a reliable scientific basis for the conservation of marine, freshwater, and anadromous fishery resources, for protection and recovery of species at risk, and for conservation of biological diversity in aquatic environments. Scientific data on ocean and coastal populations, species, and ecosystems are collected, analysed and communicated in support of fisheries management, integrated resources management, offshore development and conservation of the aquatic environment.

Ocean and Aquaculture Science: Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) scientists investigate the effect of ocean climate variability on the productivity of living aquatic resources and the role of the ocean in the global climate system. They develop the Department's capacity to use modern technologies (e.g., satellites, automated floats) to determine and interpret ocean features such as biological productivity, hydrodynamic processes, and surface and water column properties. Also, DFO scientists pursue aquaculture and fish health research leading to technologies and knowledge to culture new species, to prevent the spread of pathogens, to prevent harm to the environment, and to ensure the safe development of aquaculture.

Habitat Management and Environmental Sciences: The aim is to achieve an integrated, cohesive approach to protect fisheries through aquatic environmental and habitat protection that results in a net gain of habitat. It encompasses the development and implementation of policies, plans, and programs, and the administration of statutes related to the protection and conservation of aquatic habitats and the environment. It also involves investigating and monitoring chemical and physical conditions that affect the quality of aquatic environments; collecting, analysing and interpreting information to support the sustained economic utilization of Canada's renewable aquatic resources; and assessing, approving, and monitoring activities that affect the quality and quantity of fish habitats.

Hydrography: The mission of the Canadian Hydrographic Service is to provide a reliable scientific basis to enhance the safety and efficiency of navigation for vessels operating in Canadian waters by undertaking field surveys to measure water depth, bottom morphology, bottom type and composition, tides, water levels, near-surface currents and sound velocity; and compiling and publishing up-to-date, timely and accurate charts and other navigational information on Canadian and adjacent international waters. Hydrographic data are also used to delimit maritime boundaries and to support the exploration and exploitation of maritime resources. Hydrography is a valuable partner in ocean technology development and applications.

Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/home-accueil_e.htm

Newfoundland and Labrador Region

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre (NAFC)

Fields of Research

Fisheries resource assessment and biology of groundfish, pelagic, shellfish, marine mammal and diadromous species; life history, ecology, and population dynamics; fisheries ecosystems; aquaculture; habitat research and assessment; physical oceanography; hydrography; environmental and habitat management.

Research within the NAFC has focused on the areas and questions needed to develop our understanding of aquatic systems and to inform aquatic resource managers and the Canadian public. The number and complexity of requests to DFO Science for information and/or advice have increased over the past decade and will continue to increase over the next decade.  Currently, scientific questions pertaining to Aquaculture Development (both regulatory and collaborative research), oil, gas and seismic work have become more frequent, in addition to the traditional fisheries assessments.

DFO is committed to an ecosystem approach to management that takes into account how perturbations to one component of a resource may impinge on the renewal ability of other components. This naturally entails strong links among different parts of the scientific program, such as surveys that collect information on hydrography, physics and biology, or a multidisciplinary research initiative into the workings of the NL shelf ecosystem.  At the NAFC this research work also includes climate change, biotechnology and Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) such as sponges, corals and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Contact

Atef Mansour
Division Manager, Envrionmental Sciences
Tel.: 709-772-4133
Fax: 709-772-4818
E-mail: Atef.Mansour@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Centre
P.O. Box 5667
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
A1C 5X1

Maritimes Region

The Maritimes Region's science staff conducts research vital to enhance our ability to conserve and manage Canada's oceans and fresh water resources. Our research activities are conducted in all major marine and freshwater realms, from the nearshore to the open ocean, and as far north as the Canadian Arctic. Specifically, research on the changing aquatic ecosystems and influences on marine life, aquaculture development and interactions with the environment and traditional fishing industries, and the status of commercial species, remain the core of our operations. Our oceanographers perform research to understand and predict changes in the environment of the ocean and ocean processes.

In addition, we chart, survey, measure and describe Canada 's waters and tides to facilitate commercial navigation and fishing activities, as well as map the ocean floor and the habitats it supports. Demand for nautical products, such as electronic charts, sea floor maps and specialized products, continues to  be in high demand as Atlantic sea lanes become busier, fishing and aquaculture industries become more high-tech and interest increases in offshore ocean development projects.

Our science operations support many regional DFO operations such as Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Oceans and Habitat. For example, our fishery scientists perform research in monitoring, sampling and tagging aquatic species which is essential for determining stock and ecosystem productivity and health.
DFO research contributes to and uses knowledge from world sources and from collaborative research with local, national and international research institutions and universities.
Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/main_e.htm

Coastal Ecosystem Science Division and St. Andrews Biological Station

Fields of Research

Coastal ecosystem research related to fisheries and aquaculture development and activities; Biochemical indicators of health of aquatic animals; Biological effects of climate change; Coastal oceanography; geo-spatial habitat mapping for environmental assessments; Cumulative impacts of human pressures on the coastal zone; Monitoring and research on aquatic invasive species; Sediment dynamics in the coastal zone; and Marine biodiversity and habitat studies:

Contact

Dr. Sharon McGladdery
Director
Tel.: 506-529-5916
Fax: 506-529-5862
E-mail: sharon.mcgladdery@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

St. Andrews Biological Station
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
E0G 2X0

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Population Ecology Division

Fields of Research

Research into the population dynamics of groundfish, large and small pelagic fish, seals, and endangered marine mammals and turtles; and evaluation of the impact of commercial fisheries on fish abundance and advice on management.

Field and laboratory research on the assessment of diadromous fish populations, their genetics and factors limiting production. Recent emphasis has been on “listed” and equally vulnerable populations, especially Atlantic salmon. Preservation (live gene banks) and possible restoration of threatened populations of Atlantic salmon is being facilitated through research at the Division’s biodiversity facilities (hatcheries).

Stock assessment of marine and anadromous fish; population dynamics; population biology; ecology; genetics of wild stocks; fisheries management studies; population modelling. Population biology and assessments of commercial invertebrate species, particularly snow crab and lobsters.

Contact

Dr. Ross Claytor
Manager
Population Ecology Division
Science Branch
Tel.: 902-426-4721
Fax: 902-426-1506
E-mail: Ross.Claytor@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B2Y 4A2

Ocean Ecosystem Science Division

Fields of Research

Ocean, shelf and coastal monitoring; coastal temperature, remote sensing; Ocean modelling: including tides and currents, trajectory and dispersion modelling, sediments, and Arctic work; Coupled atmosphere-(ice)-ocean modelling (with Environment Canada); Climate Change Oceanography, non-ecosystem impacts (mainly on coastal infrastructure); Biological and Environmental mechanisms underlying marine production, pelagic marine ecology; fisheries ecology. Technical development: applied physics studies towards development of physical, chemical, and biological sensors. Biodiversity and ecosystem analyses related to the impact of anthropomorphic activity on the marine environment; impact of fisheries on fish habitat; fate and dispersion of hydrocarbon products in the marine environment; bioremediation and response to oil spills. Development of ecological models

Contact

Charles Hannah
A / Manager
Ocean and Ecosystem Sciences Division
Science Branch
Tel.: 902-426-8366
Fax: 902-426-5153
E-mail: charles.hannah@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B2Y 4A2

The Canadian Hydrographic Service

Fields of Research

The Canadian Hydrographic Service has three pillars to its mandate – marine transportation, seabed mapping, and sovereignty and security. The mandate is met with paper and electronic charts and publications; seabed imagery and 3-D models of ocean and lake beds to support integrated management of these submerged lands for exploration, exploitation and conservation; and employing the science of hydrography in the delimitation of marine boundaries to support Canadian security and sovereignty. Areas of research include: depth measurement by acoustical and optical methods; tidal phenomena; continuous vertical datum modeling; precise positioning (Global Positioning Systems); electronic navigation charts; hydrographic data collection, validation of data from a number of sources, data management, data integration, computer aided cartography (CAC); geographic information systems (GIS) and partnering with government, industry and academia to promote hydrography as basic infrastructure domestically and internationally.

Contact

Michel C. Goguen
Director CHS (Atlantic)
Canadian Hydrographic Service
Science Branch
Tel.: 902-426-3497
Fax: 902-426-1893
E-mail: Michel.Goguen@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Bedford Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 1006
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B2Y 4A2

Gulf Region

Gulf Fisheries Centre

(Bilingual work environment)

General Contact

Ghislain Chouinard
Regional Director
Science Branch
Tel.: 506-851-6204
Fax: 506-851-2378
E-mail: ghislain.chouinard@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Web Page site: This link will take you to another Web site www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Gulf

Fields of Research

Aquaculture and Coastal Monitoring – interaction of shellfish aquaculture (i.e. mussel, oyster, scallops and quahog culture), agriculture, fishing and dredging, with the coastal aquatic environment in support of optimizing shellfish productivity and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Aquatic Animal Health - development and validation of new diagnostic tests for the detection of infectious disease agents of aquatic animals, as well as, to increase knowledge on host-parasite interactions, species susceptibility, pathogen strain differentiation and disease control mechanisms.

Aquatic Invasive Species - monitoring, control measures and ecosystem impacts of invasive species (i.e. tunicates, green crab and smallmouth bass) in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Contact

Anne-Margaret MacKinnon
Division Manager
Aquatic Health Division
Science Branch
Tel.: 506-851-6081
Fax: 506-851-2079
E-mail: Anne-Margaret.MacKinnon@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Web Page site: This link will take you to another Web site www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Home?is_mobile=2

Fisheries Sciences and Aquatic Resources – Stock assessment,  population biology and fisheries research  on harvested aquatic resources, such as snow crab, lobster, cod, American plaice, Atlantic herring, Atlantic salmon, smelt, rock crab, gaspereau and American eel in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. Studies on the status and biology of species considered for listing under the Species at Risk Act.  Analyses of ecosystem changes along with their causes and impacts.

Habitat Science - understanding the physical habitat and biological impacts of human activities in the aquatic environment

Contact

Marc Lanteigne
Division Manager
Aquatic Resources Division
Science Branch
Tel.: 506-851-6212
Fax: 506-851-2620
E-mail: Marc.Lanteigne@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Web Page site: This link will take you to another Web site www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Home?is_mobile=2

Central and Arctic Region

Freshwater Institute Science Laboratory

Fields of Research

Arctic Aquatic Research Division (Freshwater Institute) – research is focused on arctic freshwater and marine ecosystem science including stock assessment of commercial and aboriginal fisheries (fish and marine mammals); ecosystem structure, function and modeling to evaluate the impact of development, climate change and their cummulative impacts on the environment; aquatic invasive species; biodiversity and species at risk; and oceans and habitat sciences.  The division provides science advice to both DFO and northern co-management boards.

Dr. Robert Young
Division Manager
Arctic Aquatic Research Division/ Division de la recherche aquatique de l'Arctique
Tel.: 204-984-8981
Fax.: 204-984-2403
Email: robert.young@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Central and Arctic Region
Freshwater Institute
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2N6

Fields of Research

Ecosystem Science Division (Freshwater Institute) – Research is focused on freshwater systems, aquatic animal health and freshwater aquaculture. In conjunction with the Bayfield Institute in Burlington, Ontario, the Freshwater Institute Ecosystem Science Division serves as a focal point of scientific research in the Central and Arctic Region on fish habitat  Extensive partnering with other government agencies, community groups, university researchers and private industry ensures an efficient and effective approach to research, management and problem solving. The division provides science advice to a number of external and internal clients.

Contact

Dr. Patricia Ramlal
Division Manager, Environmental Science
Tel.: 204-983-5173
Fax: 204-984-2404
E-mail: Patricia.Ramlal@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Central and Arctic Region
Freshwater Institute
501 University Crescent
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 2N6

Fields of Research

Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Science – Research is focused on Science to protect commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries in the Laurentian Great Lakes, including ecosystem studies of food web interactions and lower trophic level dynamics interactions; impacts of aquatic invasive species  on diversity, production and energy flow; assessments of risks associated with new potential invasive species, including Asian carps,  and research to  prevent further introductions; research to support control of the invasive Sea lamprey; research to evaluate and improve ballast water management to prevent invasive species; studies of the effects of habitat loss on the sustainable production of fish communities and fisheries;  research on the effects of hydropower on river ecosystems and fisheries;  research to evaluate effects of aquaculture on freshwater ecosystems; and research to protect and recover aquatic species at risk.

Contact

Gavin Christie
Division Manager, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Tel.: 905-336-4876
Fax: 905-336-6437
E-mail: Gavin.Christie@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries
and Aquatic Sciences
Canada Centre for Inland Waters
867 Lakeshore Road
Burlington, Ontario
L7R 4A6

Pacific Region

Institute of Ocean Sciences

Fields of Research

Physical oceanography of processes occurring in fjords and over the continental shelf of the Northeast Pacific and Western Arctic; large-scale ocean circulation; sea ice-ocean interaction; numerical modelling; remote sensing. Chemical oceanography on distribution, flux, and fate of chemicals and processes between sediment, biota, atmosphere, coastal waters, and open ocean; climate research; monitoring and modelling on air-sea flux and upper-deep ocean exchange of CO2, climatic gases, and biogeochemical cycles. Biological oceanography with major emphasis on phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic infauna; mesoscale distribution of organisms and interactions with physical forcing such as advection and mixing, light adaptation of phytoplankton; zooplankton feeding and swimming behaviour.

Contact

Robin Brown
Head
Ocean Science and Productivity Division
Tel.: 250-363-6378
Fax: 250-363-6690
E-mail: Robin.Brown@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Pacific Biological Station

Fields of Research

Aquatic ecosystem-based research including factors influencing structure and dynamics, interactions  and future forecasting; stock assessments and population dynamics of salmon and marine mammals, fish and invertebrates; recruitment mechanisms;  aquaculture of salmon and marine finfish; parasites and fish health; habitat and carrying capacity; biotechnology and genomics; DNA stock identification.

Contacts

Dr. Laura Brown
Manager
Marine Ecosystems and Aquaculture Division
Tel.: 250-756-7218
Fax: 250-756-7053
E-mail: Laura.L.Brown@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Mark Saunders
Manager
Salmon and Freshwater Ecosystems Division
Tel.: 250-756-7145
Fax: 250-756-7053
E-mail: Mark.Saunders@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Pacific Biological Station
3190 Hammond Bay Road
Nanaimo, British Columbia
V9R 5K6

Quebec Region

Maurice Lamontagne Institute

The Maurice Lamontagne Institute, located in Mont-Joli on the shore of the St. Lawrence Estuary, is part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's network of some 15 research centres. Research and monitoring activities aim to improve understanding of aquatic ecosystems and the impact of human activities on ecosystems, as well as to guarantee the safety of waterways. Our teams study fish and marine mammals, biodiversity, the marine environment, oceanography, hydrography, integrated oceans management, and protection of fish habitat, focussing on the St. Lawrence Gulf and Estuary and northern Quebec. The Canadian Hydrographic Service is responsible for about 75 nautical charts covering the region's navigable waters.

Inaugurated in 1987, the Maurice Lamontagne Institute has some 400 employees, and also welcomes postdoctoral fellows, visiting researchers and students. Many cutting-edge projects are carried out in collaboration with the fisheries and commercial shipping industries, as well as with universities.

The Maurice Lamontagne Institute's language of work is French, making it one of the main Francophone ocean sciences centres in the world.

Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.asp?p=/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.html

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Fields of Research

Fisheries Science and Aquaculture Branch – Research on fisheries, fish, invertebrate and marine mammal stock assessments; scientific advice on stock management. Research and advice on threatened species. Aquaculture research (mussel and scallop farming, coldwater fish). Research on molecular biology applied to aquatic species. Research on ecophysiology, trophic relationships, energetics, migration and ecosystem modelling.

Contact

Dominique Gascon, Ph.D.
Director
Invertebrates and Experimental Biology Branch
Tel.: 418-775-0631
Fax: 418-775-0542
E-mail: Dominique.Gascon@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
850 Route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli, QC  G5H 3Z4
Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.asp?p=/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.html

Fields of Research

Environmental and Ocean Sciences Branch – Study of physical and biological oceanographic processes influencing the dynamic and productivity of the St. Lawrence and Hudson Bay marine ecosystems. The work includes oceanographic monitoring and application of innovative methods and approaches (remote sensing, hydroacoustics, numerical modelling) to determine the impact on ecosystems of human activities and other environmental issues, including climate change, eutrophication, toxic algae bloom and changes in freshwater flows. Study of the dynamic of chemical contaminants in marine ecosystems and their biological effects on commercial and/or at-risk marine species to support fisheries and aquaculture management, as well as develop and implement recovery plans. Study of the dynamic and productivity of benthic habitats in the coastal marine environment, including interactions with human-generated issues such as aquaculture, aquatic invasive species, and coastal fisheries and infrastructure, to support the management of human activities and usage conflicts in the coastal zone, including spatial planning and the development of marine protected areas. 

Contact

Michel Gilbert, M.Sc
Director
Environmental and Ocean Sciences Branch
Tel.: 418-775-0604
Fax: 418-775-0546
E-mail: michel.gilbert@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
850 Route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli, QC  G5H 3Z4
Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.qc.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.asp?p=/iml-mli/institut-institute/index-eng.html

Fields of Research

Hydrography

The Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) prepares, publishes and updates nautical charts and publications essential to all mariners (shipping, recreational or fishery). CHS conducts hydrographic surveys (acoustic methods, mono and multibeam; precise positioning by GPS to establish horizontal and vertical references) to identify navigational hazards. It collects and distributes information on tides and water levels. CHS participates in developing new technology for electronic navigation (electronic charts), hydrographic data management, and seabed mapping (computer-aided cartography (CAC); geographic information systems (GIS)), thereby contributing to the integrated management of ocean resources. CHS's work provides basic information for the integrated management of coastal zones, particularly through operational oceanography (water level and storm surge predictions and forecasts, ocean drift modelling, etc.). 

Contact

Andrée Bolduc, Ph.D.
Director
Canadian Hydrographic Service
Tel.: 418-775-0502
Fax: 418-775-0542
E-mail: andree.bolduc@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Maurice Lamontagne Institute
850 Route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli, QC  G5H 3Z4
Web site: This link will take you to another Web site www.cartes.gc.ca/

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