Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC)

Employees monitoring traffic at a Marine Security Operations Centre (MSOC)

Overview

Employee monitoring traffic at a Marine Security Operations Centre (MSOC)

The 2004 National Security Policy directed the establishment of Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOCs) as a way of strengthening marine security for Canadians and allies. Three MSOCs are in operation and though still in development they presently collect and analyze vast amounts of information from the marine environment in order to identify security threats. The ongoing project implementation of these centres is led by the Department of National Defence (DND) for two coastal centres and by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for the centre covering the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence Seaway.

How It Works

With staff representing DND, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG), the MSOCs are a unique example of multi-agency integration. Departmental mandates, lines of authority and communications structures are maintained by each agency within the MSOCs, while the unique information systems and expertise of each are combined, where possible, to enhance the MSOCs’ capacity to monitor Canadian territorial waters, and detect and assess security threats.

Employees monitoring traffic at a Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC)

The role of CCG within the MSOCs includes the collection and analysis of vessel traffic information and other data related to on-water activities available to the agency.

DFO’s Conservation and Protection staff also contribute valuable fishing vessel traffic data as well as its own expertise in conducting surveillance and analysis. Both DFO and CCG provide systems and expertise for the detection, identification and monitoring of marine traffic in Canadian waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as in the Arctic and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway.

CCG’s MSOC contribution has been greatly enhanced over the 2010-11 period with the implementation of the Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system which is a secure point-to-point system which collects, stores and routes data from vessels wherever they are on the high seas. Now fully implemented, LRIT allows MSOCs to identify and monitor approximately 1000 vessels each day, from a distance of over 2000 nautical miles.