Ocean observations are essential to increase our collective understanding of the increasing pressures facing our oceans and improve our ability to predict and adapt to them, especially those caused by human activity.


Improving ocean observations – through sharing information and knowledge – will allow us to detect and follow changes in marine conditions that may affect aquatic ecosystems and living marine resources.

of the Earth’s surface is ocean

Sustained observations of the ocean are used to inform decision-making in areas such as coastal development and protection, climate change adaptation, fisheries and agriculture (the influence of El Niño/La Niña) and disaster risk reduction.

Accurately projecting the increasingly uncertain future path of ocean health requires sustained ocean observations on multiple scales.

of the planet’s habitable space is ocean

International collaboration is therefore essential. Canada has stepped forward to lead the Ocean Observations Action Group. The Group will advance:

  • opportunities to increase the innovation, development and deployment of ocean observational technologies;
  • accessibility of ocean observational data, knowledge and best practices among Commonwealth countries;
  • political cooperation to better integrate ocean observational data, information and knowledge into decisions, products and services within the Commonwealth; and
  • gender issues within the context of ocean science.