Language selection


Conducting marine scientific research in Canada

Pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), coastal states have the right to regulate, authorize and conduct marine scientific research (MSR) in their territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, and on their continental shelf. Foreign researchers wishing to conduct marine scientific research in areas under Canadian jurisdiction or sovereignty (including from aircraft and on sea ice) must seek consent from the Government of Canada.

Depending on the nature and location of research being considered, additional authorizations from federal agencies, provincial, territorial and/or Indigenous governments may be required. For those wishing to conduct research in Canada’s Arctic, Polar Knowledge Canada contains a useful list of resources on their Conducting Research in Canada’s North web page.

Global Affairs Canada facilitates the review and approval of applications for foreign MSR. Researchers interested in conducting MSR in areas under Canadian jurisdiction or sovereignty must submit an application, through their diplomatic mission accredited to Canada, to Global Affairs Canada, at least 180 days prior to the commencement of research activities, or vessel entry into waters under Canadian jurisdiction or sovereignty, whichever comes first.

For further information, or to request an application form, please email us at

Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, please contact us.

Date Modified: