As no single federal agency is responsible for maritime security in Canada, the Government uses a multi-agency approach to conducting security activities in the maritime domain. This integrated approach harnesses current capabilities and builds upon existing mandates and expertise to address security priorities.

As a core maritime security partner, Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Branch collaborates with partner agencies in various interdepartmental fora, including the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group (IMSWG), to identify gaps in Canada’s maritime and national security and develop effective mitigations.

Maritime Security Branch representatives actively participate in the IMSWG and its sub-committees, including both Policy and Operations. This includes supporting the Director, Maritime Security in his role as co-chair of the Operations Sub-committee as well as contributing to the development of key interdepartmental documents aimed at achieving comprehensive maritime security in Canada’s maritime domain (recent documents include the Maritime Security Strategic Framework and Maritime Domain Awareness Strategy).

In the interdepartmental realm, the Branch also provides an interface between DFO/CCG and other federal departments and agencies with responsibility for maritime and national security.

As well, the Maritime Security Branch is responsible for the provision of support to the Minister, Deputy Minister and senior management on maritime and national security matters and ensures that Government of Canada expectations are appropriately met. It is likewise responsible for the effective development and implementation of departmental policies consistent with the federal government’s priorities concerning national security generally and maritime security specifically.

Coast Guard’s broad mandate includes an obligation under the Oceans Act to provide ships, aircraft and other maritime services in support of federal maritime priorities, including maritime security and law enforcement activities. This allows the Maritime Security Branch to facilitate DFO support for maritime and national security through a number of initiatives, including the use of CCG data from its various information systems as well as its maritime expertise to enhance maritime domain awareness.

Many of Coast Guard’s contributions to key maritime security initiatives have been advanced through the work of the Maritime Security Branch, including Coast Guard’s contribution to the interdepartmental Marine Security Operations Centres (MSOC), the joint RCMP-Canadian Coast Guard Marine Security Enforcement Teams (MSET), the installation of Coast Guard’s terrestrial Automatic Identification System (AIS) and the development and implementation of the international Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) system.