Ottawa, ON – The federal department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has announced it will hire 135 research scientists, biologists, oceanographers and technicians through a national recruitment campaign. Funding for the recruitment is part of $197 million funding over five years earmarked for Fisheries and Oceans in the government’s 2016 budget.
The recruitment plans were discussed today by Hunter Tootoo, Canada’s minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, at an event during Science Odyssey week.
They said the funding will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada to undertake its largest single recruitment toward restoring ocean science. The department will also acquire new technologies including state-of-the-art acoustic and remote sensing technologies and high-performance lab equipment to better monitor fish stocks and changing ocean conditions.
A portion of the funding will also be dedicated to establishing new partnerships and collaborations with universities, environmental organizations, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders, both in Canada and abroad to ensure access to the best available science.
In addition to the hiring initiative, the budget will be used to focus to increase research activities in the following priority areas:
– Research and monitoring to support healthy fish stocks, including improved stock assessments on fish and shellfish that are most important for commercial, subsistence, and recreational fisheries; more research on wild Atlantic and Pacific salmon to better understand the threats affecting them; and increased research and monitoring of marine mammals, including those that are considered at risk, to better understand their population dynamics.
– Increased research on the effects of environmental stressors on marine ecosystems to guide marine conservation policies and to guide project developments. These stressors include contaminants, underwater noise and micro-plastics. In addition, enhanced observations on ocean currents, temperature, salinity, etc. to better predict future oceanographic changes and trends.
– Supporting sustainable finfish aquaculture with more research on the effects of aquaculture on ecosystems and wild species, increasing coastal monitoring, and developing mitigation techniques; and increased diagnostic testing for pathogens and diseases in farmed and wild fish.
– More research on freshwater ecosystems, specifically in the Great Lakes, Lake Winnipeg and the St. Lawrence River, as well as providing additional funding to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to undertake research at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA).
“Investing in science also means investing in Canadians by hiring more scientists, which will boost our economy and grow our middle class,” said Hunter Tootoo. “This is a smart and meaningful investment, which will allow us to make better, science-based decisions to sustain our fisheries and protect our aquatic environment.”
“Today’s investment highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to science, evidence-based decision making, and to using science to answer questions that are relevant and important to Canadians,” said Kirsty Duncan. “I welcome this investment in aquatic scientists and researchers and look forward to the great research these new federal scientists produce.”
Job postings will be available online on Jobs.gc.ca in the coming days.