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Pollution Tracker Program and Study of Micro-plastics in the Arctic Ocean and their Biological Effects on Marine Life
by Canada (Government)
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.
Progress reports
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
February 2017
Implementation of the Pollution Tracker Program
February 2017
Study of microplastics in the Arctic Ocean and their biological effects on marine life
In-kind contribution
Financing (in USD)
500,000 USD
Basic information
Time-frame: February 2017 - ongoing
Fisheries and Oceans Canada ( Government), Vancouver Aquarium (scientific community)
Ocean Basins
  • Arctic Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Richard Vaughan, Economics and Policy Analyst, Richard.Vaughan@dfo-mpo.gc.ca , 343-543-2026
Ottawa, Canada
Other SDGs
United Nations