Marine Communications and Traffic Services program information
The 12 Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) centres across the country provide several services to our clients, including:
- safety radio-communication services
- vessel traffic services and regulation
- information that supports marine activities
- screening of vessels entering Canadian waters
- a 24/7 commercial marine telephone call service
Our program’s objectives are to:
- contribute to safety of life at sea
- support maritime domain awareness
- contribute to safety and efficiency of navigation
- contribute to the protection of the marine environment
Our main priorities are distress, urgency and safety.
The safety radio-communication service is provided via a comprehensive system of terrestrial radio facilities. These enable communications between ships and shore, complementing the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System as well as national and international regulations.
This service provides the Canadian Coast Guard with enhanced information on vessel transit. It’s also responsible for:
- regulating vessel movements
- identifying and monitoring vessels
- providing navigational information and assistance to encourage:
- efficient navigation
- environmental protection
In selected areas, the marine telephone call service allows ships and land-based customers to exchange telephone calls. The Canadian Coast Guard recovers incremental costs associated with this service.
Our Atlantic region’s area of responsibility includes the:
- Cabot Strait
- Bay of Fundy
- Strait of Belle Isle
- Southern and Eastern Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Labrador Sea south of latitude 60 degrees north
- Canadian Atlantic coastal and offshore waters north of the Hague Line
The Halifax MCTS centre issues clearances to vessels entering Canadian waters from the east, as per the Eastern Canada Vessel Traffic Services Zone Regulations (ECAREG).
Casualty and pollution desk duties are performed at the Labrador MCTS centre.
Navigational Warning (NAVWARN) services are provided by the Sydney and Port aux Basques MCTS centres.
Central and Arctic region
Our Central and Arctic region’s area of responsibility includes:
- James Bay
- Hudson Bay
- Lake Winnipeg
- the Great Lakes Basin
- the St. Lawrence Waterway
- the Canadian waters of the Arctic
- the Athabasca-Mackenzie watershed
Navigational Warning services are provided by the Prescott and Iqaluit MCTS centres.
The Les Escoumins MCTS centre provides ECAREG functions.
The Quebec and Iqaluit MCTS centres perform Alert and Warning Network (AWN) desk duties. Iqaluit MCTS operates seasonally.
Our Western region’s area of responsibility includes the coastal and offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean.
The Prince Rupert MCTS centre provides Navigational Warning (NAVWARN) services.
Vessel traffic offshore functions are provided by the Prince Rupert MCTS centre, which issues clearances to vessels entering Canadian waters from the west.
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