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 said understanding of the marine environment is "relatively meagre" given that oceans cover 70 per cent of the Earth's surface.
"It's imperative that Canada better understand our oceans in terms of how they're changing, how we can support their ecosystems and how we can sustainably manage resources," Murray told a Vancouver news conference at the International Marine Protected Areas Congress Monday.
She said the research will "solidify Canada's reputation as an ocean leader recognized around the world for (its) commitment to science, collaboration, technology and environmental sustainability."
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, said 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.
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, Moran said.
"This new funding strengthens important national priorities that make the connection between ocean science and communities a real one," she told the news conference.