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Canada is a maritime country. The marine and ocean industry contributes $20 billion annually to the Canadian economy and add up to 350 000 part-time and full-time jobs, especially in coastal communities. Traditional sectors such as fishing, shipbuilding and water transportation are being joined by others including oil and gas, aquaculture, and recreational fishing.
Significant global trends are driving the marine and oceans industry — climate change, energy demand, food production, and sustainability. The composition of companies in this sector is small to medium-sized, geographically dispersed, and possessing limited ability to expand and grow markets. A broad range of national competencies is needed, not only from research and technological innovation but also management skills, entrepreneurship, and marketing.
By the year 2012, Canada is to become an internationally recognized centre for marine and ocean technologies. This vision is to be accomplished by building on current strengths, e.g., cold-water technologies, and by broadening these strengths, e.g., marine industrial supply to offshore oil and gas.