To provide communications and traffic services for the marine community and for the benefit of the public at large to ensure:
Within the Coast Guard, MCTS provides the initial response to ships in a distress situation, reduces the probability of ships being involved in collisions, groundings, and strikings, and is a cornerstone in the marine information collection and dissemination infrastructure. The safety of ships at sea and on inland waters is highly dependent on efficient distress response, traffic regulating, safety communications, the broadcasts of weather and navigation warnings and the alerting network. The public at large benefits through the protection of water supplies, the marine ecosystem, and the littoral environment. The broad national interest is served through data provided to other government departments for better management of national programs.
Distress - Safety - Communications & Coordination to detect distress situations, ensure timely assistance and savings of lives:
Vessel Screening to prevent the entry of unsafe vessels into Canadian waters:
Regulating Vessel Traffic Movements for marine risk reduction:
Managing an Integrated Marine Information System in support of economic benefits and national interests:
Public Correspondence Services to facilitate ship-shore communications:
In addition to ensuring safe marine navigation, Marine Communications and Traffic Services supports economic activities by optimizing traffic movement and facilitating industry ship/shore communications. All of these functions are derived from a regulatory framework based primarily on the Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS).
The 1989 amendments to the CSA identified and set out important new responsibilities in the area of vessel traffic management. Departmental authority could now recommend regulations establishing vessel traffic service zones and imposing mandatory vessel traffic practices and procedures within those zones (e.g., Vessel Traffic Services Zones Regulations and the Eastern Canada Traffic Zones Regulations).
Canada is also a signatory to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which requires signatories to make provisions for safety radiocommunications services. MCTS provides the distress safety communications/coordination and maritime safety information broadcasts in response to this international agreements.
Cooperative measures are in place with the U.S.A. also, for contiguous waters such as the Juan de Fuca Strait or the Detroit/St. Clair River.