In Canada, the catastrophic release of oil into the marine environment from vessel accidents, especially major tanker accidents, is rare. In recent years, the majority of cases, which have had the most devastating environmental consequences, do not involve a vessel mishap but rather an accidental or illegal deliberate discharge at sea. These incidents are much more frequent despite the efforts of the Government of Canada to curtail the polluting of waters under Canadian jurisdiction. Although individual releases may be small in comparison to catastrophic releases, they are chronic and the damage is devastating. This continues to be an issue in Canada each year as oiled birds continue to be found along Canada’s vast coastline. Transport Canada (TC) is the lead federal department responsible for preventing pollution from ships and the National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is one method by which this is achieved. To combat the issue of illegal discharges in Canada, TC has committed to improving the effectiveness of its surveillance program. To this end, TC is modernizing its surveillance aircraft with state of the art pollution surveillance equipment, which can be used during conditions of reduced visibility such as night or low cloud cover. These surveillance systems will assist TC in the detection, classification and tracking of all targets of potential interest and marine oil spills. To compliment the surveillance, surveillance flights are being timed to coincide with Radarsat passes so that wider area surveillance can be conducted. TC is confident that this new equipment will enhance our ongoing ability to secure appropriate evidence that will aid with successful prosecutions.