Canada has the world’s longest coastline and water is one of our most important resources. With increased marine shipping, coastal development and threats from climate change, the need to monitor our coastal and offshore waters for changes is more important than ever before.

Community Fishers empowers community members to easily contribute high-quality, continuous data on water properties to help better understand and inform policy on fish habitat and the changes that may be impacting the ocean environment over time.

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Program description

Coastline monitoring has historically relied on research vessels with expert staff, both of which are commonly in short supply and are expensive. These factors can result in samples taken only a few times a year in spot locations.

In response to this challenge, Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) developed the Community Fishers mobile app that provides a practical, user-friendly tool for collecting data and accessing it via Oceans 3.0.

Consisting of a mobile application that connects wirelessly to a conductivity temperature depth (CTD) instrument and additional sensors, Community Fishers enables an organization or community to engage all vessels of opportunity (such as fishing and recreational boats), allowing for more flexible, frequent and locally relevant sampling of water properties without the cost or requirement of utilizing specialized research vessels and scientific staff.

Program partner

Ocean Networks Canada logo


Program outcomes

Upon completion of this training program, participants will be able to:

  • understand and communicate the importance of instrumenting our oceans and coastal regions
  • identify key oceanographic parameters and understand their significance to ocean life and marine health
  • accurately describe the theory of operation and application of a CTD, oxygen optode, fluorometer, turbidity sensor and CDOM sensor in monitoring marine waters
  • plan and conduct an effective sampling strategy, and sensor deployment based on specified deliverables designed to answer a specific research question
  • utlize the Community Fishers app to collect, display, interpret and report sensor data
  • identify and troubleshoot impacts on sensor performance and data quality

Who is this program for?

This training program is designed to complement funded Community Fishers ocean monitoring programs. The funding usually includes a communities/organizations procurement of a multi-parameter sonde (conductivity temperature depth [CTD]) water profiler, their own data management and ONC's scientific support. This training provides the foundation of collecting good quality baseline oceanographic data, along with the practical methodology to operate the CTD and the initial interpretation of the data.

There are also potential training opportunities for groups/individuals outside the Community Fishers program. Please contact us for further discussion:

Courses and fees

This two-day training program will take place in both the classroom and the field. Upon successful completion of the program participants will receive a certificate of participation from the University of Victoria.

Estimated fees

This program is funded by Ocean Networks Canada. 

Application information

How to apply

For information on how to participate in the Community Fishers Training program, email: