Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Institut Maurice-Lamontagne video

Located in Mont-Joli, Quebec, on the shores of the St.Lawrence Estuary, the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (MLI) is part of a network of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) research centres. Inaugurated in 1987, it is one of the world’s major francophone marine sciences centres.

It employs some 300 people in two large sectors: ocean science and aquatic ecosystems management.

The mission of multidisciplinary teams is to provide the federal government with a thorough scientific basis for the conservation and sustainable management of marine resources and aquatic ecosystems, marine environment protection and safe navigation.

The main activity area covers the Estuary and Gulf of St.Lawrence, the Saguenay Fjord, Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait; some activities, aimed at the protection of fisheries and aquatic species at risk, cover Quebec’s freshwater ecosystems.


The work of the scientific teams focuses on monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem status. These activities include research on aquatic invasive species, fish stocks and marine mammals, and ocean ecosystem dynamics. Work is also carried out on climate change and environmental stressors, the impact of human activity on the environment, and research on species at risk. Forecasting and monitoring of water levels, mapping and the use of web services in connection with hydrographic needs for navigation round out the areas of activity. The national Centre of Expertise on Marine Mammals is also located at the Institute and is staffed by DFO science personnel.

Every year, our teams document and assess the abundance of over 40 fish and invertebrate stocks, as well as provide advice on conservation and management of these important resources. They also monitor oceanographic conditions, documenting the impact of climate change and populating ocean models.

We also have teams working on aquatic ecosystems management by implementing both the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act, in freshwater and in marine environments, and the Oceans Act for the protection of aquatic species and their habitat, the protection and recovery of aquatic species at risk, and the development of a network of marine protected areas in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. By providing expert advice in DFO’s areas of responsibility, these teams also support the federal environmental assessment process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

The MLI’s teams also participate in several national and international North Atlantic research and monitoring networks.


Scientific facilities

The Maurice Lamontagne Institute covers an area of 25,000 square metres and has over 70 labs for research in biology, oceanography, hydroacoustics, physical sea condition modelling, and biochemical and ecosystemic modelling. It also has a genetic testing lab, a dissection room and rooms for hydrography, mapping and remote sensing work.

The tank room is a specialized wet lab measuring more than 2,000 square metres that can hold tanks of varying sizes as well as high-tech equipment. Salt water comes directly from the St.Lawrence. Experimental studies on the reproduction, physiology and behaviour of marine species and ecosystems are conducted in this lab. This system, one of the largest of its type in Canada, accommodates large-scale experimental studies, which is essential for conducting on-site testing, validation and controls of observed and monitored environmental conditions.
Tank Room

In addition, seven controlled-atmosphere units are available for research as part of smaller-scale experiments in various fields, including the acidification of marine waters.

The experimental basins and certain laboratories are fed freshwater or sea water (filtered or unfiltered) by gravity from reservoirs. Salt water comes directly from the St.Lawrence Estuary. This system, one of the most important in Canada, allows large-scale experimental studies in laboratories.

The Canadian Coast Guard operates a large vessel maintenance shop. Nearly 85 vessels and small craft undergo maintenance there annually. The Institute’s scientists have access to a fleet of Canadian Coast Guard vessels and helicopters. Two vessels are dedicated to scientific research in oceanography and fishery science.

Our scientists rely on four scuba diving teams made up of about twenty experienced divers with certified modern equipment for work in cold coastal areas (-2 to 20°C) at depths of up to 40 metres.

The research centre also houses the 250‑seat Estelle-Laberge auditorium and various meeting rooms.



Scientific conferences of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

The conferences are offered online.

Contact us to register and get the login details.





Tuesday, January 26

10:00 am


Physical Oceanographic Conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during 2020


Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute

 (Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)



Thursday, February 11

10:30 am

American eel habitat connectivity restoration project and documentation of Huron-Wendat knowledge on fish and their habitat

Lori- Jeanne Bolduc

Land use planning Advisor at the Conseil de la Nation Huronne Wendat

(Presentation in French)

MARCH 2021


Thursday, March 4

10:30 am


Conservation ecology and coexistence between fisheries and endangered species

Lyne morissette

M – Expertise Marine

(Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)

Thursday, March 11

10:30 am

The daily discharge of the St. Lawrence River

Denis Lefaivre AND alain d’astous

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute

(Presentation in French)

APRIL 2021


Thursday, April 1

10:30 am


Biochemical conditions in the Gulf of St. Lawrence during 2019 and 2020

marjolaine blais

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute

(Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)

Thursday, April 8

10:30 am



Seagrass ecology: Status, functioning, resilience

Melisa Wong

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography

(Simultaneous interpretation in French)

Thursday, April 15

10:30 am


Multi-year continuous acoustic monitoring of marine mammals: evolution at MLI

Yvan Simard

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute

(Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)

MAY 2021


Thursday, May 20

10:30 am


Summary of achievements toward the implementation of the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS) after three years

Andréane Bastien

St. Lawrence Global Observatory - SLGO

(Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)

Thursday, May 27

10:30 am



Remote hydrography

Mathieu Rondeau AND Benoit Crépeau Gendron

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Maurice Lamontagne Institute

(Presentation in French, simultaneous interpretation in English)

JUNE 2021


Tuesday, June 8

World Oceans Day

This June 8, join us in celebrating World Oceans Day with a virtual panel discussion. For this occasion, four guests will discuss the major themes of the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) : research, innovation, cooperation and connection.

The panel discussion moderated by Hélène Raymond, host and career journalist, will be composed of :

  • Bernard Sainte-Marie, PhD, Research Scientist at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute
  • David Courtemanche, M.Sc. general manager of Merinov
  • Françoise Bruaux, M.Sc. director of the Comité ZIP du Sud-de-l'Estuaire
  • Pierre-Olivier Ferry, Chef, Atelier culinaire Ferry

Want to participate?

Join us on Zoom at 10 a.m. at or by phone at one of the following numbers, depending on your location

  • 1 (647) 558-0588
  • 1 (778) 907-2071
  • 1 (204) 272-7920
  • 1 (438) 809-7799
  • 1 (587) 328-1099
  • 1 (647) 374-4685

Meeting ID: 994 8280 4930

Please note that the event will be presented in French and available with simultaneous translation in English.



How to Reach Us

Contact details
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
850, route de la Mer, P.O. Box 1000
Mont-Joli, Quebec  G5H 3Z4
Telephone: 418-775-0500
Fax: 418-775-0730 

Media relations 
Telephone: 418-648-5474