The department does have a program that is bringing some resources now to these kinds of questions. They are very important questions, and we do expect that over this time period—that's a little hard to define right now—there will be changes that we need to understand and there will be adaptations that we will need to make ourselves and assist other Canadians to make as well in their areas.
But we're one of eight departments that have been funded to do some work in this area. In our department, it's called the aquatic climate change adaptation services program, ACCASP. It's in the middle of a five-year run right now.
There are three principal activities—they all include the Arctic—that we have done and are doing under this program. We've done a very detailed risk assessment of what changes we might expect in all of the areas, all of the aquatic areas in Canada, including or defining the Arctic as one, to help us identify what are the threats and what are the opportunities, even, because it's not necessarily all negative. We simply want to know what these changes are going to be. Based on that, we can then use that as a platform to identify where we may need to adapt DFO programs and decision-making systems in order to account for a change in climate in the future.
So we've been doing these risk analyses. They're just finishing up. They will be available publicly before very long. It's a very large document, so it takes a bit of time to get it into good shape.
We also, as part of this program, have some funding that we can use and are using for two types of scientific studies. Well, one is really scientific, the other is more general.
We have funds to help us better understand specific climate changes that might be the types of changes related to an area where we would want to adapt in the future, to develop a tool to maybe make decisions differently in the future than we do now.
We have a second fund that is actually working on adaptation tools now, areas where we have sufficient science information to maybe design a decision-making system to account for a climate change effect and bring those changes into effect in the near term.
So we have quite a few projects around the country. A number of them are specific to the Arctic, on such subject matters as changing fisheries, distributions, understanding how primary productivity in the ocean is going to change or likely to change as a result of climate change. These are things like phytoplankton and zooplankton, because they're at the base of the food chain that supports the fisheries, which we would then have an interest in.
Invasive species is another big one as well, of course. When climatic conditions change, then this creates opportunities for species that are not endemic to an area to move in, and sometimes there are harmful consequences of this.
So to get to your question, some things that we are currently doing will help the department and therefore help Canadians adapt to a change in climate across the country, but there are specific things that we are doing in the Arctic.