Maritime Domain Awareness

Maritime domain awareness means having true and timely information about everything on, under, related to, adjacent to, or bordering a sea, ocean or other navigable waterway. This includes all related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, vessels, or other means of transport. For marine security, it means being aware of anything in the marine domain that could threaten Canada's national security.

Maritime domain awareness makes our marine security system better because it helps us:

  • Quickly identify actual or potential threats to Canada’s marine transportation system;
  • Make informed decisions;
  • Take effective action;
  • Share knowledge with appropriate partners; and
  • Integrate situational awareness in “whole of government” efforts to respond to marine events and to limit the damage from such events.

Maritime domain awareness requires a coordinated effort within the federal government as well as with stakeholders and global partners.  Transport Canada and its partners – including those in the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group – are working together to reduce marine security risks and achieve greater maritime domain awareness.  These efforts contribute to the security, safety, and prosperity of Canadians and of our allies.

Canada’s Marine Security Operations Centres are examples of such interdepartmental collaboration.  These centres represent a new and unique level of integration and co-operation between government departments and agencies involved in marine security. The centres help to detect, assess and support a response to any threat to marine security that could affect the safety, security, environment or economy of Canada. Partners include Transport Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. More information on the Marine Security Operations Centres can be found at