Updated: May 23, 2020
A report released in 2012 outlined the state of Canada’s oceans in respect to effects caused by environmental implications (1). Notably, a persistent threat to ocean ecosystems is acidification, where acidity is increased in response to the breakdown of carbon dioxide in the oceans, forming carbonic acid (2). The increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are expected to further impact aquatic ecosystems, thus, the Government of Canada has decided to closely monitor the general state and acidity of oceans (2).
In order to gain a better understanding of all of Canada’s oceans, the Government of Canada has begun to release yearly status reports, each focused on a different ocean with the most recent report detailing the status of the Arctic Ocean (3). The status reports are a result of a collaboration amongst Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of Nunavut, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Inuit communities, and the Fisheries Joint Management Committee, ultimately producing Canada’s Oceans Now: Arctic Ecosystems, 2019 (3). The major areas of focus in Canada’s Oceans Now: Arctic Ecosystems (2019) include changes to sea ice and habitats (4). The full report for the Arctic Ocean can be accessed here. This report is ultimately comprised of scientific findings and Inuit knowledge in order to fully capture the complexity of changes occurring in the Arctic Ocean’s ecosystems (4).
Overall, the Government of Canada has recently shifted focus into research regarding environmental implications of Canadian oceans. These status reports will help Canadians assess the environmental changes occurring in the Arctic Ocean, and the effectiveness of current action and political measures taken to protect the oceans is sufficient.