Ocean Sciences and Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation

Ocean scientists at Fisheries and Oceans Canada undertake research and monitoring to provide advice on Canada's fisheries management, marine protected areas, species at risk, small craft harbours and maritime safety and security.


A five year science program is underway to assess climate change impacts as emerging risks or opportunities, and to devise tools and technologies to help the Department adapt appropriately.

Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP)

The Government of Canada created this program in order to integrate knowledge about climate change into the delivery of departmental programs. Watch short videos explaining the processes that regulate climate and how ocean changes occur.

New Report on Ocean Acidification in the Scotian Shelf LOMA

This report consists of a context document and theme-based papers. Select from the list of documents to get up-to-date information on aspects of ocean health.

Learn about Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks, an initiative for pan-Arctic scientific observation

In the Arctic, SAON facilitates partnerships among existing observation and data management activities, and promotes the sharing of data and information. Read the report on the state of environmental monitoring in northern Canada.

Earlier research on climate change themes

Aquatic issues related to climate change, such as ecosystem shifts, ocean acidification, hypoxia (low oxygen), changes to ocean currents, sea ice variability and other factors impact fisheries resources. Rising sea levels, severe storms, inundations and erosion that threaten coastal communities and coastal infrastructure concern researchers.

Climate Change Science Initiative (2009-2010)

The CCSI was created to develop scientific knowledge on climate change and provide advice and guidance. Read the 5 Year Research Plan and the final report.

Ecosystem Research Initiatives (2007-2010)

DFO is committed to developing ecosystem-based approaches to managing human interactions with marine systems. Learn about seven initiatives established as pilot projects to enhance the capacity to provide scientific advice.

International Polar Year (2007-2008)

DFO Science was a major participant in IPY beginning in 2007. Read two reports detailing DFO’s contributions to IPY science and browse through descriptions of six projects funded by the Government of Canada.

Predictions and scenarios

Ocean scientists rely on global and regional models to observe and forecast the impacts of climate change. Read about the climate models on Canada’s coasts and the collaborative groups involved in these projects.

Impacts of emerging climate issues

Climate change is having a direct impact on our environment. Watch videos to learn about two emerging trends of concern to scientists: ocean acidification and hypoxia.

Oceanographic activities

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is an important contributor to national and international oceanographic programs that provide data on global ocean processes for use in scenarios and climate models for risk management and advice on fisheries resources.


DFO uses physical, chemical and biological data collected through research and monitoring to develop predictive ocean models. Learn more about monitoring programs and initiatives in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

Data management

DFO manages ocean data collected from regional and zonal programs and foreign sources. Discover how ocean data is essential to determine environmental status and trends.


Ocean models are computer-generated representations based on various types of data. Learn about the modelling programs that DFO scientists rely on to forecast and prepare for future environmental changes.


Ocean Sciences advises both Canadian and international decision makers on topics such as emergency preparedness and ocean health. Find out how this guidance impacts global policy.