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.

MCTS officers at their workstations.

Services

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:
    • safety
    • 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.

Atlantic region

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.

Map of the Atlantic region showing New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Map of the Atlantic region showing New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Description

The large red circle represents the Halifax MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

The large blue square represents the Sydney MCTS centre, and the small blue squares represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Map of the Atlantic region showing Newfoundland and Labrador.

Map of the Atlantic region showing Newfoundland and Labrador.

Description

The large red circle represents the Goose Bay MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

The large blue star represents the Port aux Basques MCTS centre, and the small blue stars represent its remote controlled sites.

The large purple square represents the Placentia MCTS centre, and the small purple squares represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

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.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Description

The large red circle represents the Iqaluit MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Ontario and Manitoba.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Ontario and Manitoba.

Description

The large red circle represents the Prescott MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

The large blue square represents the Sarnia MCTS centre, and the small blue squares represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Quebec.

Map of the Central and Arctic region showing Quebec.

Description

The large red circle represents the Les Escoumins MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

The large blue square represents the Quebec MCTS centre, and the small blue squares represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Western region

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.

Map of the Western region, showing British Columbia

Map of the Western region, showing British Columbia

Description

The large red circle represents the Prince Rupert MCTS centre, and the small red circles represent its remote controlled sites.

The large blue square represents the Victoria MCTS centre, and the small blue squares represent its remote controlled sites.

Basemap information used under Open Government License from Natural Resources Canada. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Natural Resources.

Gallery

MCTS officer’s workstation
An MCTS officer responding to a call
View of several workstations in an MCTS centre.
An MCTS officer at their workstation.
An MCTS officer at their workstation.
MCTS officers at their workstations.
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