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Ottawa announces $46.5M for deep-sea research

Federal minister in Vancouver to make announcement
Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray (right) and Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra in Vancouver in October 2022 | Nelson Bennett, BIV

The federal government is investing more than $46 million over the next five years to see what’s under Canada’s oceans and then protect it.

Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray says understanding of the marine environment is "relatively meagre" given that oceans covers 70 per cent of the Earth's surface.

Speaking during a Vancouver news conference at the International Marine Protected Areas Congress, Murray says the investment will allow Canada to get a clearer picture of how the ecosystem is changing and how to sustainably manage resources. 

The funding will come from the government's $3.5-billion Ocean Protection Plan.

Kate Moran, CEO of the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada, says the $46.5 million will be used to gather data about the deep ocean for scientific research, government decision-making and to support Canada's ocean industries.

She says Ocean Networks Canada will study currents, marine safety and incident response, ocean sound information to mitigate the harm of human noise on marine life and ocean monitoring for coastal communities.

"This new funding strengthens important national priorities that make the connection between ocean science and communities a real one," Moran told the news conference on Monday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press