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At-sea Fisheries Observers

Date Posted: July 3, 2019
Closing Date: August 17, 2019
Job Type: Part-Time/Casual Employment (paid)
Job Category: Environment, Sustainability and Natural Resources
Number of Positions: 5
Job Location: Coastal BC - various ports, BC
Region: NS - HRM

About the Position

Job Description

Archipelago Marine Research is now seeking hard working, enthusiastic people to work at sea as Fisheries Observers. While this is a year-round employment opportunity, work levels are seasonally variable. The position requires working and living aboard vessels conducting fishing operations in British Columbia waters.

Fisheries Observer duties include documenting catch size and composition, verifying fishing locations, collecting biological samples, monitoring compliance to fishery regulations, and describing fishing and processing techniques within comprehensive trip reports.

Working and Living Conditions Vessels range in length from 40 feet to over 150 feet. Working conditions on deck are typically wet and can be cold. The job may involve heavy lifting. Many of the vessels operate with 3 or 4 crew members. The Observer will be assigned a bunk in the crew’s quarters, which are usually cramped and may be co-ed.

Training and Certification Applicants will be screened and interviewed through a competitive process. Successful applicants must then participate in and complete a three-week certification-training course. The next course is tentatively scheduled to start early August 2019. Employment can only be offered to those who complete this training with a passing grade. Out-of-town trainees will be provided with accommodation if required. Upon successful completion of the course, applicants’ names will be forwarded to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for screening and final certification. All successful applicants will be required to consent to a Criminal Record Check being performed by the Commissionaires during the second week of training.

Note that the Fisheries Act and Fisheries (General) Regulations state that a person who owns, operates, manages, or is an employee of an enterprise that catches, cultures, processes or transports fish cannot be certified as a Fisheries Observer.

Deployments and Work Levels Observers are deployed from a number of ports in BC. Deployment periods average 24 days in length with each deployment period being made up of individual vessel assignments that average six days. Some assignments may extend to over 30 days. Between assignments Observers are on active status and are expected to be available within their port of deployment. During these active-status days, Observers have the use of a staff house.  

Responsibilities Documenting all fishing activity, including catch size and composition Verifying fishing locations Collecting biological samples Monitoring compliance to fishery regulations Describing fishing and processing techniques in comprehensive trip reports



Successful applicants will have:

Experience working at sea and a lack of susceptibility to motion sickness

Completed at least one year of post-secondary education in a related discipline — current students and recent graduates majoring in marine biology, resource management, fisheries and aquaculture, environmental science, and environmental technology comprise the majority of our field staff

Experience accurately recording data (at sea preferred)

Experience performing simple dissections

Experience with species identification

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Excellent math skills (experience with accounting an asset) ·        

A demonstrated ability to work long hours under adverse conditions and without supervision ·        

Small Domestic Vessel: Basic Safety training (formerly Marine Emergency Duties (MED) A3) will be considered an asset — certification training will be provided to successful applicants during the course ·        

A VHF Marine “Restricted Operator’s Certificate (Maritime)” and Occupational First Aid Level 1 certification will be considered assets

Canadian citizenship, permanent resident/landed immigrant status, or an open work permit valid for at least one year

Ability to travel freely to and from the USA

No employment or ownership stake in a commercial fishing or processing operation

A willingness to consent to a criminal record check during the training course

Note: Applicants living outside of British Columbia or in the BC Interior must be willing to relocate to Coastal BC — i.e. the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island or the Prince Rupert region.

In addition to these qualifications, applicants should have knowledge of marine fish identification and the commercial fishing industry and have some experience working at sea.

Preference will be given to those applicants who meet all of these requirements.

Salary Range

Wages range from $174.25 to $239.56 per day while working at sea.

Archipelago offers a competitive compensation package.  

About the Company

Archipelago Marine Research
525 Head Street
Victoria, BC V9A 5S1

Phone: 250-383-4535
Fax: 250-383-0103

Company Contact

Michelle Tse
Preferred Contact: Email

Documents to be Forwarded

  • Resume
  • Cover letter