Dalhousie University

Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier

Safe and Sustainable Development of the Ocean Frontier’s fundamental challenge is that Canada’s reliance on ocean resources is escalating during a period when the ocean is changing rapidly. World-leading experts from Dalhousie University, the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island have developed a research program to address this challenge with an integrated set of research modules focused on: atmosphere-ocean interactions, shifting ecosystems, sustainable fisheries, sustainable aquaculture, marine safety, and ocean data capture and integrated information technology tools.

The modules are organized into two themes: Ocean Frontier Changes and Ocean Frontier Solutions. The geographic focus of the research program is the nationally and globally important Northwest Atlantic, and the adjacent Canadian Arctic Gateway, which lie off Canada’s east coast. Changes in this region of the global ocean are some of the most rapid on Earth, and have far-reaching impacts on global climate and food supply, and the safety of northern shipping.

The region’s importance forms the basis for leveraged, international research partnerships with world-leading institutions, which will support and extend the reach of the overall scientific strategy. The research program is focused on producing a series of strategic innovation deliverables with critically important outcomes and impacts for Canada. Examples include: a carbon auditing toolkit; an integrated observational analysis platform for atmospheric composition; a dynamic risk assessment model for marine transport; functional feeds for Ffsh health and growth; sustainable fishing gear; and cost-effective monitoring of fish health. All will be supported by interoperable ocean software and data visualization tools.

These deliverables will enable international leadership by Canadian researchers in integrated ocean assessment, and in evidence-based co-management of ocean resources. In parallel, economic benefits will arise from enhanced production and expanded exports of sustainably sourced wild-capture and cultured fisheries; innovations in ocean science and technology; and improved health, safety and economic viability for coastal communities.