The oceans are home to 99% of the Earth’s biosphere and cover 71% of the planet. Dynamic and fragile, they provide habitat for an extraordinary diversity of life and social-ecological systems, including fisheries that have sustained human populations for millennia.

The UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) contributes to a transformative global shift toward sustainable coastal ecosystems, oceans and fisheries. It brings together a community of Canadian and international experts in ocean and freshwater species, systems, economics, and issues—and provides new insights into how our marine systems function, and the impacts of human activity on those systems.

Housed at Canada’s premier west coast university, the IOF enables collaboration across a broad range of research and policy—and includes a growing global network of partners in governments, coastal communities, non-profit organizations and peer institutions to address issues of local and global concern.

We envisage a world in which ocean and freshwater ecosystems are healthy and their resources are used sustainably and equitably; this requires a holistic approach.

Addressing the consequences of human-induced climate change, including warming waters, overfishing, salinity, invasive species, and developing marine conservation plans that sustain and provide economic and social benefits can only be achieved through a combination of research and outreach, as we seek to understand and address the overall impacts of our changing global environment on marine and freshwater ecosystems, and ecosystem services.

With integrated research and education programs that span the natural and social sciences; including aquatic ecology, economics, zoology, anthropology, sociology, oceanography, marine geochemistry, microbiology, resource management and international maritime law, we are leading the way to healthy and sustainable marine and freshwater systems through excellent research, inspirational education, and innovative societal engagement.