Canada’s National Security Policy, released in 2004, directed the establishment of Coastal Marine Security Operations Centers (MSOCs) that would have the authority and capacity to support a national response to perceived and real marine security threats to the country. East and West Coast MSOCs are located in Halifax and Victoria respectively and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway MSOC is located in Niagara.
The MSOCs are comprised of federal government departments and agencies responsible for marine security, asset support or maritime expertise, including the Department of National Defence, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Department of Fisheries and Oceans-Canadian Coast Guard, Canada Border Services Agency, and Transport Canada.
The MSOCs enable their partner government departments and agencies to work together and share intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information (within the legal mandate of agencies / departments) through interagency staffing and collaboration, which in turn allow the MSOCs to support an organized response to potential marine threats and avoid duplication to both efforts and resources.
The MSOCs provide Canada with a marine security capability that is resourced, organized and equipped to provide maritime domain awareness, by identifying and reporting on maritime activities that represent a potential threat to the sovereignty, security and safety of Canada and Canadians.