The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG; French: Garde côtière canadienne – GCC) is the coast guard of Canada. Formed in 1962, the coast guard is tasked with marine search and rescue, communication, navigation and transportation issues in Canadian waters, such as navigation aids and icebreaking, marine pollution response and providing support for other Canadian government initiatives. The coast guard operates 119 vessels of varying sizes and 22 helicopters, along with a variety of smaller craft. The Canadian Coast Guard is headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a Special Operating Agency within Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Department of Fisheries and Oceans).
Unlike armed coast guards of some other nations, the CCG is a government marine organization without naval or law enforcement responsibilities. Naval operations in Canada’s maritime environment are exclusively the responsibility of the Royal Canadian Navy. Enforcement of Canada’s maritime-related federal statutes may be carried out by peace officers serving with various federal, provincial or even municipal law enforcement agencies.
Although CCG personnel are neither a naval nor law enforcement force, they may operate CCG vessels in support of naval operations, or they may serve an operational role in the delivery of maritime law enforcement and security services in Canadian federal waters by providing a platform for personnel serving with one or more law enforcement agencies. The CCG’s responsibility encompasses Canada’s 202,080-kilometre (109,110 nmi; 125,570 mi) long coastline, the longest of any nation in the world. Its vessels and aircraft operate over an area of ocean and inland waters covering approximately 2.3 million square nautical miles (7.9×106 km2).