The Government of Canada is committed to protecting our oceans and marine life for future generations. In support of that goal, in February 2017 Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced announced over $1 million in support for two new research projects to monitor contaminants and investigate their impacts in the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing $399,000 to the Vancouver Aquarium to help implement Pollution Tracker, a new science program that will help identify the sources of contaminants in British Columbia and inform policies and management decisions. This program is conducting international-caliber scientific research on priority topics in ocean pollution. Its focus is to determine the sources and consequences of ocean pollution, communicating results to stakeholders and the public, and to provide guidance on solutions in the form of best practices, consumer choices and policies.The Pollution Tracker project will sample mussels and near-shore sediment along the coast of British Columbia to collect data on a wide range of contaminants such as hydrocarbons, flame retardants, pesticides, pharmaceuticals and microplastics.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also providing the Vancouver Aquarium with a further $215,000 to study, for the first time, microplastics in the Arctic Ocean and their biological effects on marine life. An additional $520,000 in in-kind support, such as vessel use, will be provided to assist in the collection of samples. The Microplastics project will use sophisticated technology to analyze samples of seawater, ice, and zooplankton, as well as the stomach contents of fish and marine mammals, to better understand the distribution and uptake of microplastics in the Arctic.