DFO Diving Safety Program Overview

Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) maintains a diving safety program in support of its mandate to ensure the sustainable development and safe use of Canada's oceans, fresh waters, and aquatic resources. The DFO Diving Safety Program is administered by the Science Sector at DFO, and is headquartered at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

  • Follow:
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • RSS feeds
  • Flickr

Scores of DFO research scientists, biologists, and technicians with diverse sets of research interests and backgrounds use diving as a tool to study and probe the underwater realm. Diving provides scientists with an opportunity for direct observation and underwater experimentation, and produces meaningful data that could not be obtained by other methods.

DFO authorizes over 100 employees to dive across Canada each year, and consistently enjoys an excellent diving safety record. The Departmental Diving Safety Procedures (DDSP) captures the requirements of the Canada Labour Code Part II and the Canadian Occupational Safety & Health Regulation on Diving Operations, and establishes safe work procedures specific to DFO diving activities. In order to dive under DFO procedures, divers must be medically fit to dive, trained and properly equipped for the tasks being performed, and on an annual basis demonstrate that they are competent to perform the types of dives in which they participate.



Every year, Fisheries and Oceans Canada scientists conduct a variety of research projects both above and below the surface. Over 100 employees dive each year, with projects ranging from coast to coast. From ice exploration in the Arctic, to integrated mussel aquaculture in the Bay of Fundy, and even freshwater studies in the prairies, DFO divers are called to some of the most diverse locations and projects.

Here is an inside look into the research below the surface.


  • it's MY day
    Nobody takes the plunge at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) without a nod from Jeremy Stewart. As National Diving Safety Program Coordinator for DFO, Jeremy ensures that any DFO employee who spends time underwater returns to dry land safely.
Aquatic Animals

Aquatic Animals

There are an abundance of wild, colorful, or just strange animals found in Canadian waters. Whether it's a jellyfish found in thousands of feet below the surface in the Arctic, or a sea scallop on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean - the aquatic species found in Canada are varied and incredible.

DFO Divers

DFO Divers

When it comes to DFO research, the number of projects using diving is outstanding. Divers are everywhere – sampling algae in the Experimental Lakes Area of Ontario and collecting samples of threatened abalone on the West coast are just two of the projects that use scuba diving. Have a look at what other projects have researchers suiting up and diving below the surface.

Date modified: