Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it will hire 135 research scientists, biologists, oceanographers and technicians in its largest single recruitment toward restoring ocean science.

"This is a smart and meaningful investment, which will allow us to make better, science-based decisions to sustain our fisheries and protect our aquatic environment," Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo said in a statement Wednesday

The announcement marks a change of direction after years of criticism by the scientific community, which accused Ottawa of cutting more than 2,000 science jobs and closing research facilities.

"Today's investment highlights the Government of Canada's commitment to science, evidence-based decision making, and to using science to answer questions that are relevant and important to Canadians," said Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science as she and Tootoo spoke to students at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

The statement said the fisheries department will also acquire "new and innovative technologies, including state-of-the-art acoustic and remote sensing technologies and high performance lab equipment to better monitor our fish stocks and changing ocean conditions."

The $197 million needed to pay for all this is included in Budget 2016, according to the federal ministers.

Areas of research will include stock assessments on marine mammals, as well as Atlantic and Pacific salmon and sustainable aquaculture.

Work will also be done on "ecosystem stressors" like underwater noise pollution and the effect of plastics on sea life.

Job postings will be put online on jobs.gc.ca in the coming days.