OSD's mandate is to manage and archive ocean data collected by DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada), or acquired through national and international programmes conducted in ocean areas adjacent to Canada, and to disseminate data, data products, and services to the marine community in accordance with the policies of the Department.
The Oceanography and Scientific Data (OSD) was formed in 2006 from the merging of two groups: the Marine Environmental Data Service (MEDS) and the Engineering Development and Geomatics Service of the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), both of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
MEDS had been established in 1969 to coordinate the Canadian Wave Climate Study. It was significantly enlarged in 1973, when the Tides and Water Levels Section of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Oceanographic Data Centre (established in 1962) were incorporated into it. In 2014 Integrated Science Data Management - ISDM was renamed to Oceanography and Scientific Data - OSD.