Fishery Officer Career: Work Description
- GT-04 Fishery Officer
- Client-Service Results
- Key Activities
- Working Conditions
- Annex A
GT-04 Fishery Officer
Enforcement and investigative services for the conservation and protection of the fishery resources and fish habitat for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, commercial, recreational, aboriginal and international fishers, fish processors, environmental and aboriginal groups and the general public, under the Fisheries-related Acts and Regulations and other related federal and provincial legislation.
Investigative services for Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to protect the general public from the consumption of toxic and bacteriological contaminated shellfish that can lead to serious health problems and even death and to protect the integrity of the Canadian shellfish industry.
Detection, investigation and prevention of the pollution of domestic and international waters to protect the aquatic environment.
Research, development, promotion and presentation of public education and awareness programs for domestic, aboriginal and foreign clients, stakeholders and the general public for the conservation and protection of Canadian fisheries resources and fish habitat.
Provide assistance to other government agencies in coordinated efforts and areas of overlapping interest such as Customs and Immigration (illegal migrants), RCMP (commercial and organized crime), Provincial Ministries.
- Carries out compliance inspections and enforcement of the various Fisheries-related Act and Regulations, that govern fishing activity in the aboriginal, commercial, recreational and international fisheries and protect the fish habitat and the aquatic environment. Investigates any contraventions of the above legislation by persons or corporations under Canadian jurisdiction or international agreements in domestic or international waters. Conducts patrols by foot, vehicle, program vessel, CCG vessels, fixed and rotary winged aircraft, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. Fishery Officers are the conservation and protection enforcement services for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
- Acts as lead investigator or as a member of a team of fishery officers to collect evidence, including forensic evidence on major cases, prepares violation reports, prepares court briefs, prepares and executes court documents such as information to obtain search warrants, search warrants, information, summonses, subpoenas, appearance notices and voluntary penalty tickets. As the primary advisor to Crown Counsel, provides advice, guidance and direction in the prosecution of all violation cases. Presents evidence in court as the arresting officer, crown and/or expert witness.
- Promotes stewardship of the fisheries resources and fish habitat among the various user groups private and public sector industries that may impact on fish habitat and the general public. Presents and promotes adherence to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and develops community relationships to support and encourage a strong conservation ethic.
- Investigates and gathers intelligence and/or conducts audits on fishing and habitat-related activities to provide status reports on harvesting activities and/or habitat degradation for use by supervisors and/or fish/habitat managers including the Science Sector of the Department.
- Participates in the development of training programs, trains, mentors, leads and provides feedback on the progress of new recruits, colleagues and enforcement partners, and trains individuals from other enforcement agencies and/or public organizations.
- Develops and delivers public education and awareness presentations.
- Acts as a senior departmental liaison in communities and provides assistance to other federal, provincial, local and international enforcement agencies.
(Click on the Characteristic to Jump To It's Description)
- Information for the Use of Others
- Well-Being of Individuals
- Leadership of Human Resources
- Physical Assets and Products
- Ensuring Compliance
- Job Content Knowledge
- Contextual Knowledge
- Motor and Sensory Skills
- Intellectual Effort
- Sustained Attention
- Psychological/Emotional Effort
- Physical Effort
- Work Environment
- Risk to Health
- Annex A
(1) Information for the Use of Others
Gather, compile, prepare, present, disseminate, interpret, analyze/synthesize and verify field-gathered intelligence in the Departmental Violation System (DVS) for possible Court prosecutions through overt and covert law enforcement operations and practices. This information is of a confidential, private, individual, corporate and/or protected nature for the use of DFO Conservation and Protection staff, Department of Justice, Crown Prosecutors, Provincial Management, Law Courts of Canada and for possible use in the International Court of the Hague, for setting international fisheries boundaries for Canadian jurisdiction and DFO conservation-based fisheries regimes. This relevant information is used to prosecute individuals or corporations, to determine and prioritize C&P law enforcement activities and to determine financial resources needed to carry out enforcement activities, to develop and improve fish/habitat management plans, to adjust enforcement strategies and training programs, to make recommendations for legislative changes, to change policies and procedures that guide the safety of Fishery Officers in the law enforcement arena that may be adopted by other law enforcement agencies to improve the effectiveness of their programs.
Collects information on fishing and habitat-related activities to provide status reports on harvest activities such as catches to date, species composition of catch, observations on habitat degradation by the private and public sectors. This is used by supervisors, fish managers, other Sectors and Science Branch to adjust harvest plans in season so that quotas are not overrun or to take additional measures to ensure the protection of fish habitat and/or that conservation objectives are being achieved. The work requires making recommendations to Field Supervisors on modifications to programs.
Collects and records information on the expenditure of their hours of effort on a fishery (Fishery Officer Enforcement Activity Tracking System - FEATS) by fishery or habitat-related activity basis including the outputs of enforcement activities such as checks of persons, boardings of vessels, vehicles, habitat sites inspected, as well as violations by type, warnings, charges, which are used by supervisors to establish priorities, measure the effectiveness of enforcement operations, and serve as the basis for budget forecasting. In the case of habitat violations, these must also be reported to Parliament annually by the Minister.
Gathers and disseminates intelligence on owners of vehicles, vessels, residences and businesses from provincial licensing data sources as part of investigations and/or any associated records of violence from police data systems to provide information to Fishery Officers who are stopping vehicles or apprehending individuals, so that they are forewarned as to potential risks to their health and safety so they can take the appropriate precautions.
Provides fisheries and marine intelligence to police, provincial and international natural resource law enforcement agencies, including information on fisheries violators who are known to be aggressive or violent in order that if required, they approach these individuals with the appropriate level of caution.
Develops and conducts education/information sessions for diverse industry groups, trade shows, fishing organizations, school groups, provincial and municipal bodies, recreational and service clubs and Aboriginal communities to provide a better understanding of DFO conservation and protection objectives, programs and priorities to promote compliance and stewardship.
Leads, develops, conducts and or assists in formal training sessions for recruits, colleagues, enforcement partners and/or other enforcement agencies, which requires information be developed, analyzed, interpreted and presented in the appropriate format to ensure clear understanding and retention by target audiences.
Disseminates general and specific information on a wide variety of departmental, conservation, enforcement, fisheries management and habitat-related policies and programs to resource users, industrial interests, other government departments, conservation or fish and game clubs and the general public, in order that they can plan and conduct their respective personal and business affairs accordingly.
As the only Federal government representative in remote communities, responds to or directs local enquiries to the responsible government department.
Provides information to the media and/or responds to public inquiries.
Prepares briefing material and memoranda for Field Supervisors which enables them to respond in a timely and informed manner on controversial and/or enforcement related matters.
Contributes to the overall enforcement program effectiveness and integrity providing operational expertise and recommendations on enforcement policies, procedures, and the development of training materials through participation in routine internal quality assurance programs and administrative responsibilities.
(2) Well-Being of Individuals
Employing the buddy system for officer safety, as a Fishery Officer, not only ensures safety of colleagues and/or persons from other agencies working as a team on conservation and protection activities, but also the general public. In the case of the general public, there is a requirement to ensure that enforcement operations are conducted in a manner which minimizes any risks to the public who may be the subject of the enforcement actions, or to bystanders who could potentially be injured. An example of the above-noted would be the use of pepper spray to subdue a suspect or when enforcement vehicles using emergency equipment have pulled vehicles over to the side of the highway to conduct an inspection. This is an on-going responsibility during daily land, sea and air surveillance and enforcement activities.
Requested by other agencies or the public to assist for hours or days in search and rescue activities requiring the rescue of individuals and/or providing on-site emergency first-aid or care. This is not voluntary if tasked by the Rescue Co-ordination Centre or when peace officers from police agencies demand Fishery Officers assist them.
Accountable and responsible for the safety and well-being of individuals under arrest and in custody including providing on-site emergency care where a suspect has been injured. This activity occurs on a regular basis and can last for several days when transporting arrested persons from distant and remote areas of operations.
Responsible to protect the confidentiality and to provide for the physical and mental safety and security of informants. If their identity becomes known, this could jeopardize the personal physical safety of informants and/or their families. This requirement is on-going while engaging in all work-related activities including off-duty activities. Has the authority to abort covert operations if the safety or the cover for covert operators is compromised.
Participates as a senior member of a Critical Incident Stress peer team that assists in defusing trauma associated with violence, accidents and other types of emergency situations. This is a shared activity.
(3) Leadership of Human Resources
Leads the enforcement activities of junior Fishery Officers, fisheries observers, charter and/or Departmental patrol vessels and/or their crews, patrol aircraft and staff of other enforcement agencies during joint fisheries investigations.
Provides on-the-job training/coaching and reports on the progress of Fishery Officer trainees, provides training to other enforcement partners or other agencies, e.g. the Coast Guard. Trains and evaluates colleagues in areas such as Armed Boarding Training and Force Continuum, i.e. firearms re-qualification, tactical handcuffing, ground fighting, verbal intervention, control tactics, pressure point techniques, strikes and close-quarter confrontation, handgun retention and retrieval, multiple assailant attacks, oleoresin capsicum spray, expandable baton, etc. These can be shared activities with other training experts.
Plans, organizes meetings and debriefings with colleagues, other enforcement agencies, Crown Counsel and expert witnesses.
Works in self-directed teams that can involve professional staff and contract resources. Provides leadership to short-term project teams to conduct patrols.
Contributes operational expertise and provides recommendations on enforcement policies, procedures and the development of training materials. Provides leadership to team members but may share responsibility with other team members.
Responsible to develop cost estimates for enforcement-related activities and purchases necessary to deliver local programs, e.g. the time, effort and materials needed for enforcement activities within specified budget limits.
Managing Money Flow
Responsible for negotiating the best possible price for the sale of seized articles such as fish, gear, etc., to minimize the potential for Crown liability and/or for the deposit of any funds received on behalf of the Receiver-General for Canada to be disposed of as directed by the Courts.
Responsible for the safe keeping and continuity of any cash that may be seized during the course of enforcement operations.
In some remote areas, responsible for the collection of license fees.
Responsible to account for monies expended in covert operations to detect illegal activities for example buying illegally caught fish within specified budget limits.
Responsible to save money by negotiating the best available price within specific limits, and for verifying that goods and services are received for example minor capital items such as binoculars, knives, repairs to vehicles and vessels.
Responsible to deliver enforcement and compliance activities in the most cost effective manner within specified budget limits.
Responsible for the use and reconciliation of accounts for government fleet credit cards, government acquisition cards and government travel cards.
(5) Physical Assets and Products
Fishery Officers are the Minister's front-line conservation and protection investigative services for fish and fish habitat which are limited public resources that may require decades to replace. Destruction of fish habitat by harmful alteration, disruption and/or pollution may not be reversible.
Responsible for input and securing access to "law enforcement sensitive databases" such as the Departmental Violations System or the Canadian Police Intelligence Centre and the integrity of data being entered or retrieved.
Operates and is responsible for the use and maintenance of a wide range of facilities, specialized enforcement equipment, vehicles and vessels used in enforcement activities. These items are difficult to replace because of the lengthy government acquisition process and/or the high cost of these items, e.g. $200K for program boats. This is a shared responsibility with colleagues in the work unit.
Responsible for maintaining sensitive electronic navigation equipment by performing calibration and testing procedures developed to ensure function and accuracy. Responsible to maintain camera bodies and lenses in clean and unhindered functional state by attending to units upon return from field operations. Require cleaning of lenses, examination of coupling devices and attachments to remove dirt and grime resulting from field usage. Maintenance of power levels through testing of batteries and proper storage of disposable and re-chargeable power sources. Requires examination, maintenance and repair of storage facilities and carrying devices to ensure safety and good condition of sensitive equipment while transporting in the field or in static storage. These types of equipment are replaceable at a significant cost and loss or damage can affect the effectiveness of surveillance and monitoring operations. Quality of evidence gathered and ability to identify suspects and suspect equipment can be compromised.
Responsible for the proper storage and maintenance examination of program vessels to ensure the optimum functionality and safety of colleagues. Requires inspection of the trailer, frame, tires, winch and hitches and noting any defects or abnormalities. Requires application of grease and oil and checking and noting gauge readings. Requires attention to log records that indicate maintenance intervals, consumption of fuels, hours of patrol activities and any damages or abnormalities encountered on patrols. This responsibility is shared and the requirement is to make sure the vessel is ready for use immediately once it has been returned from the previous patrol activity.
Responsible for the use, maintenance, security and replacement of personal issue enforcement equipment items, e.g. side-arms, pepper spray, ASP baton, portable radio, encrypted radios, cellular telephones, binoculars, handcuffs, flashlights, soft body armour, night scopes, video cameras, digital cameras, thermal imaging cameras, stabilizing binoculars, lobster dye kits, electronic tagging kits, electronic readers, global positioning devices, track plotters, radars, satellite phones, lorans, black boxes and personal office equipment. These items are costly and are replaceable but only within allowable budgetary funding. This is an on-going responsibility that is not shared.
Responsible for the use, maintenance and replacement of shared officer safety and survival equipment in vehicles and vessels, e.g. flares, fire extinguishers, personal flotation devices, emergency locator beacon.
Responsible for the custody and protection of highly sensitive documents and integrity of evidence seized or gathered during forensic or major investigations to be used by the Crown during prosecutions some of which can last for several years. Evidence cannot be replaced. This is an on-going responsibility and is not shared.
Makes arrangements for facilities, equipment for meetings and seminars.
(6) Ensuring Compliance
Ensures compliance by enforcing Canada's various laws aimed at conserving and protecting fish and fish habitat "under" the Fisheries-related Acts and Regulations and other related Federal and Provincial Acts such as the Criminal Code, Canada Evidence, Young Offenders, Statutory Instruments and Access to Information and Privacy. (See Annex A for a list of all the Fisheries-related Acts and Regulations). This includes having to deal not only with fish harvesters and the illegal harvesting by poachers but also with the public and private sectors to ensure compliance with the habitat provisions of the Act and/or departmental guidelines. Habitat provisions range from advice on how to construct a retaining wall at a cottage to how a watershed is to be logged, or how an urban development is constructed, etc. Ensures compliance with Enforcement Protocols negotiated with First Nations. When considering the circumstances surrounding violations, Fishery Officers analyze a wide range of options and determine the appropriate enforcement response ranging from a warning, monitoring activities or remedial works, to pursuing a prosecution and follow-up on any Court-imposed orders. This is usually not a shared responsibility but may require consultation with supervisors depending on several factors including the severity of the offence, resources available, Officer safety and political and socio-economic considerations that may be germane to the situation.
As a Peace Officer under the Criminal Code of Canada, when enforcing the Fisheries Act, he/she is responsible for taking the appropriate actions to deal with criminal activity when encountered. This is a shared responsibility requiring consultation with the police agency of jurisdiction.
As an ex-officio Conservation Officer or Game Warden under various provincial legislations, and the Migratory Birds Convention Act, he/she is required to take appropriate action concerning illegal activity associated with natural resources encountered in the course of his/her regular Fishery Officer duties.
Responsible to report activities of colleagues that are inconsistent with the policies and procedures that guide the safe delivery of enforcement activities. This is a shared responsibility of all Fishery Officers.
Participates on committees and working groups tasked to identify innovative compliance measures to address changes in public attitudes towards enforcement in the fishing industry, and to develop new enforcement and compliance approaches to deal with rights and cultural based commercial and recreational fishing activities. Input is required to determine practicality and applicability of innovative ideas as well as to make recommendations to alter the new approaches to make them workable.
(7) Job Content Knowledge
Very good knowledge of:
Fisheries-related Acts and Regulations (See Annex A) plus other related Federal legislation that pertains to the gathering of evidence, International Agreements and Conventions, Treaties, Fishing Agreements and Protocols with First Nation communities that are used in support of enforcement operations.
Marine and freshwater fisheries biology/ecology, fish species identification, habitat requirements, aquaculture operations, scientific fish stock assessment methodologies, marine mammals in order to understand the conservation objectives and contents of fisheries and habitat management plans, Departmental policies and objectives to effectively communicate information to user groups, the judges, the general public and/or other departmental clients.
The various fishing techniques, fishing gear, fishing vessel hold layout, logbooks used by the various resource harvesters to be able to effectively and safely carry out enforcement activities and to detect violations including the hauling and resetting of fishing gear after it has been inspected, e.g. nets and traps.
The erosion control measures, bank stabilization methods, and other construction techniques that are undertaken in order to be able to detect violations.
Protocols involving breaches of Canadian sovereignty when pursuing foreign vessels in Canadian and International waters, Treaties and Supreme Court decisions.
Investigative and surveillance techniques using sophisticated electronic monitoring devices such as photographic equipment, night vision gear, tracking devices, electronic listening devices, remote monitoring, satellite tracking and positioning devices, scuba diving equipment, aerial surveillance, and other non-traditional surveillance practices and how to use them in support of fisheries and habitat enforcement activities. Knowledge of how to work with a K-9 team so that there is no contamination of the crime scene or that the wrong person is apprehended.
Procedures for overt, covert and forensic enforcement activities, accounting and business bookkeeping practices to ensure the evidence gathered will support the prosecution in court. Fishery Officer training in these areas is equivalent to that of a RCMP investigator.
Principles and techniques of the Use of Force Continuum for self-defense including the application of lethal force and for maintaining physical control of uncooperative and combative individuals who may be resisting arrest or threatening an Officer with grievous bodily harm.
Techniques and practices that are required for the safe day and night operation of highly specialized program vessels and vehicles in a wide variety of marine, freshwater, arctic environments in all weather conditions. These include marine/ocean, white-water river conditions, pursuit and armed boardings, the towing of vessels and roadblocks. Knowledge of Wilderness/Arctic survival, swift water rescue, search and rescue techniques and for the safe conduct of scuba diving operations.
How to use various non-electronic and electronic navigational devices and knowledge of hydrographic charts and topographical maps to establish positions, directions, distances, bearing and heading to facilitate the safe operation of program vessels and to gather evidence associated with violations.
Accepted techniques and procedures for the use of scientific instruments such as pH meters, pocket colourimeters used in gathering evidence and legal samples.
Special investigative techniques used in interviewing witnesses and accused persons associated with forensic investigations on major cases and how to present expert evidence in court to ensure evidence will withstand the scrutiny of the court. Fishery Officer training in these areas is equivalent to that of a RCMP investigator.
The principles, procedures judicial processes associated with criminal and civil law, legal documents such as search warrants, and how the rules of evidence apply to enforcement activities when gathering the necessary evidentiary elements to establish a strong case for prosecution. Legal documents include those that compel individuals and/or corporations to provide access to information that may become evidence in a prosecution. Fishery Officer training in these areas is equivalent to that of a senior RCMP constable or investigator.
The operations of urban and industrial facilities such as pulp mills, sewage facilities, logging operations, mining, oil and gas, agricultural, highway or hydro projects subject to regulation under fisheries-related legislation, and to know how to safely monitor these operations and how to safely collect evidence of violations.
How to interpret and summarize data collected on fishing and habitat-related activities to produce a variety of detailed reports for supervisors.
Techniques to interpret various types of enforcement data collected, including enforcement trends, electronic data used as evidence, catch and effort to assist in establishing and recommending enforcement priorities for the work area.
Negotiation and mediation techniques to resolve conflicts and disputes.
Teaching and coaching techniques and philosophies to train new recruits, colleagues, other agencies, enforcement partners and/or the general public.
Effective presentation techniques to develop educational and public awareness presentations to gain increased compliance with conservation and protection programs and objectives.
Practices, principles and procedures of first aid and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation to provide care for colleagues and the general public in emergency situations.
Computer hardware and software programs for investigation and report writing, word processing, data management including specialized software programs that are designed for the exclusive use of Fishery Officers i.e. Departmental Violations System (DVS), Fishery Enforcement Activity Tracking Systems (FEATS), Canadian Fisheries Information Network (CFIN), aircraft data management and surveillance systems.
Knowledge of environmental and human toxicology related to hazardous materials or conditions and shellfish contamination to ensure the safety of an Officer, colleagues and/or the general public.
(8) Contextual Knowledge
Work Unit: Very good knowledge and understanding of:
- Personal roles, responsibilities and the reporting structures of the Conservation and Protection work unit and the relationship with other DFO Sectors working in the same or adjacent areas.
- How changing work priorities can impact on staff, enforcement activities and the relationship with the field supervisor.
- Local enforcement policies, guidelines, enforcement protocols, fish/habitat management plans, exploratory fisheries and health and safety policies and procedures that affect the delivery of enforcement programs.
Department: Very good knowledge of:
- The departmental mandate, goals and objectives/organizational structures and the various roles and responsibilities of each Regionally and/or Nationally, how they affect the role of the work unit, the nature of enforcement and compliance activities, and the priorities associated with fisheries and fish habitat.
- Internal administrative policies and procedures of corporate services for pay and benefits, expenses, travel procedures, expense claims, equipment and facilities requisitions, local purchases, training, leave, collective agreements, etc.
- National and Regional enforcement policies, procedures, guidelines and protocols such as for firearms, armed boarding, special operations, aboriginal fisheries enforcement, and international boundary enforcement that affect the handling of enforcement activities.
- The range of enforcement options available to Fishery Officers when selecting the appropriate enforcement response given the circumstances at hand.
- How the Canada Labour Code influences the delivery of enforcement operations and the responsibilities of employees.
Other Federal Departments/Agencies: Very good knowledge of:
- The mandate of Environment Canada in order to understand the sharing of pollution prevention and enforcement responsibilities under specific sections of the Fisheries Act and their role regarding other Federal environmental legislation.
- Memoranda of Understanding or Agreements with the RCMP and DND and reporting and working relationships within other federal government departments and agencies such as the RCMP, the Department of Indian Affairs, Parks Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service and Canada Customs, Transport Canada, to facilitate their assistance and/or participate in collaborative enforcement operations and emergency response situations.
- The protocol with the Department of Foreign Affairs for dealing with individuals and vessels of foreign origin and registry who may be fishing in Canadian waters and/or in violation of Canadian and/or International fisheries laws.
- How the Canada Labour Code influences the delivery of enforcement operations and the responsibilities of employees.
Canadian Private and other Public Sectors: Very good knowledge of:
- Provincial police and natural resource agencies, the delineation of responsibilities between federal, provincial, and municipal levels of government to establish working liaisons and protocols for collaborative enforcement operations and/or assistance in emergency situations.
- The role and responsibilities of third party contractors who deliver the Dockside Monitoring, Observer, Charter Patrol Vessel or Guardian programs required in support of monitoring and enforcement activities.
- How government policies, political and socio-economic factors impact on the fish harvesters, fish habitat, and Canadian communities and advocacy groups in order to avoid or defuse confrontations or negative media events.
- Aboriginal culture, treaties, settlements, Fishing Agreements, by-laws, protocols, and policies that relate to the Aboriginal Fisheries including both commercial and food/social/ceremonial customs and the role of the conservation and protection program and Aboriginal communities in the monitoring and enforcement aspects of these fisheries.
- Accepted standards of construction and engineering as they relate to projects such as culvert installation and dock and boat launches, that impact on fish habitat.
- Fishing gear and techniques used by fish harvesters and the handling and processing of fish including fisheries business operations in order to effectively and safely conduct monitoring and enforcement activities.
- Cultural sensitivities as they relate to domestic fisheries.
International Public and Private Sectors: Very good knowledge of:
- International protocols and prohibitions and the mandate of law enforcement organizations from other countries in areas where joint international patrols and/or enforcement activities are carried out and cultural sensitivities as they relate to international fisheries.
- Counterparts at the state/federal levels when working in Canada/U.S. border areas or fisheries in international waters.
Legislation and Regulations: Very good knowledge of:
- Acts, regulations, legal jurisprudence, Agreements, Protocols as they pertain to Canadian or joint international enforcement actions associated with domestic and/or international fisheries inside and outside the 200-mile limit.
- The Access to Information and Privacy Acts and related provisions that affect the collection and release of sensitive enforcement, personal and/or private information collected during monitoring and enforcement activities.
- How the range of enforcement responses are authorized or constrained by Fisheries-related Acts and Regulations (See Annex A), the UN High Seas Drift Net Ban, the Criminal Code, Young Offenders Act, Canada Evidence Act, Statutory Instruments Act, the Financial Administration Act and how these affect the nature and delivery of enforcement programs.
- Treaties, Fishing Agreements, Communal Licenses, Band By-laws and Enforcement Protocols that affect or constrain the delivery of enforcement programs.
- Enforcement procedures associated with the United States Magnusson and Lacy Acts and how they affect U.S. vessels fishing in Canadian waters or vice versa.
- Fishery Officer authorities as a Peace Officer under the Criminal Code of Canada when enforcing the Fisheries Act and Regulations and the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and Regulations.
- Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act as it relates to investigations and enforcement actions.
- Writing skills to prepare court documents, court briefs for forensic investigations and major cases, and reports to the Crown prosecutor and to the supervisor concerning enforcement actions as it relates to fishing and habitat-related activities.
- Verbal skills to present clear and concise testimony in court for major investigations often under grueling cross-examination by defense counsel who is trying to attack the credibility of the evidence or officer, or to provide persuasive arguments to gain the acceptance of individuals or groups who may have differing views about Departmental strategies and policies regarding fisheries and habitat management.
- Requires good verbal and negotiation skills to control the dynamics of enforcement situations to ensure persons comply with directions being provided by the Officer to apprehend individuals, collect evidence, or ensure the safety of colleagues and/or the general public.
- While dealing with client groups, heads of corporations and/or their legal counsel requires good verbal and negotiation skills to paraphrase, interpret and explain the intent or objectives of Acts, regulations, policies, fisheries and habitat management plans, some of which are very controversial. While giving public presentations, the target audience will be composed of people with varying degrees of education and experience, often the environment is or can become confrontational or highly emotional. This requires exceptional self-control of personal emotions and verbal responses to maintain a professional and courteous deportment.
- Requires verbal skills to communicate with people of different ethnic backgrounds such as recent immigrants and crews of foreign vessels to ensure their legal rights are respected as this could compromise any possible prosecutions.
- Requires effective interpersonal communication skills to ensure the effective delivery of education/awareness public relations/training programs to interpret and deliver training to colleagues utilizing various techniques and teaching aids in an adult environment. The ability to adapt language and presentation techniques to respond to varying degrees of learning styles and ensure the salient information is understood and correctly interpreted by the course candidates.
- Ability to perceive and interpret and clearly understand the intention of written communications from internal and external sources including agreements and management plans that will have a bearing on the way enforcement activities are conducted.
- Listening skills to hear and interpret messages, some of which can be urgent, concerning the health and safety of Officers that are coming in over a portable radio/satellite phone. In the case of a patrol or program vessel, a number of radios can all be on simultaneously to monitor a number of frequencies. Messages are often garbled or affected in their quality by local environmental conditions or the limitations of the radio or phone equipment.
- Reading, comprehension and analytical skills are required to understand comprehensive enforcement policies and procedures, Acts and Regulations, fisheries and habitat management plans, licensing policy issues, Joint Project, co-management and International Agreements, legal, scientific and/or statistical data as they relate to enforcement matters.
- Requires the ability to perceive and interpret body language and non-verbal cues exhibited by people or groups of people with whom an Officer is dealing in various situations where people demonstrate confusion or lack of understanding and/or while interviewing suspects who may try and deceive the officer or who become aggressive, threatening or combative, where the officer is trying to gather evidence and ensure their safety often during highly emotional and very dynamic circumstances.
- Requires well developed listening, analytical and interpretation skills to understand the significance of information and evidence gathered by all methods (e.g. electronic, forensic, etc.,) during enforcement activities and to be able to present testimony in Court as a Crown witness in a manner which not only supports the Crown's case but where evidence will withstand the scrutiny of the Courts.
- Requires well-developed listening and interpretation, verbal and non-verbal communication skills for the performance of plain clothes and special operations activities to impersonate another identity.
- Reading and interpreting complex corporate documents, financial statements, production logs, etc. when dealing with major cases and forensic investigations to construct the evidence package to be presented to Crown Prosecutors.
(10) Motor and Sensory Skills
While conducting day and night patrols and surveillance and enforcement activities, there is a significant requirement for:
Equilibrium, physical dexterity and coordination when embarking and disembarking fishing vessels, planes and land vehicles where there is resistance to avoid apprehension, for operations conducted in all seasons and during adverse weather and visibility conditions, or while carrying heavy equipment or seized articles as well as when launching and recovering vessels.
Physical dexterity and precise hand-eye coordination to utilize defensive weapons such as firearms, batons, pepper spray and handcuffs and maintain mandatory qualification standards as well as to have the skills and abilities to apply self-defense techniques to control and defuse potentially life threatening situations and/or to arrest violators and/or when handling fish/fishing gear during inspections/search/seizure.
The ability to perceive subtle changes while driving or operating in environmental conditions such as marine, ocean, lake or river conditions, ice, snow and fog. Hand-eye coordination and timing are significant requirements. Strength and physical dexterity are required to make split-second maneuvers and alterations in directions and/or speed to safely operate various types of land vehicles such as cars, four-wheel drive trucks, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles and various sizes and types of vessels when carrying out enforcement duties which include whale-disentanglement.
Acute vision with a significant requirement to be able to adapt to frequently changing degrees of ambient light while conducting day and night enforcement operations over varying terrains and during all types of weather conditions.
Significant dexterity, sight and hand-eye coordination when using sophisticated electronic and non-electronic navigation and surveillance equipment such as photographic gear, high-powered binoculars and telescopes, radars, plotters, depth sounders, and night vision gear. These devices are being used to determine subtle differences in the speed and positions of boats, of people and gear from great distances using these devices while simultaneously engaging in surveillance activity and vessel operation activity.
Hearing to detect subtle differences in the frequency of sounds, the direction of noises produced by various navigational aids, fishing gear and engines, and from potential suspects while conducting enforcement and surveillance operations under limited visibility circumstances in order to ensure safe and effective enforcement operations.
Sensory skills such as sight, touch and/or smell are required to determine subtle differences when differentiating between species of fish of very similar appearance and in advanced states of processing, to determine the nature of potentially toxic contaminates that may have been spilled or discharged and/or to determine conditions that may pose a health risk to the officer.
Sight and manual dexterity for keyboarding, data entry, and report writing, preparing memos and letters, as well as the daily use of general office equipment.
(11) Intellectual Effort
Intellectual effort is required:
To quickly interpret, analyze situations and determine the best course of complex enforcement actions from a wide range of possible options, often dealing with major corporations, their legal counsel, often with minimal policy direction, simultaneously with interruptions, distractions, time constraints, potential threats to Officer health and safety, client pressures and uncertain availability of staff and resources.
To analyze intelligence, observations, witness statements, documents, and pictures in order to identify enforcement issues and prepare court briefs, and comprehensive evidentiary packages that can include hundreds, and in large multi-faceted major cases, thousands of documents including financial statements, payrolls, production records, that must all be cross-referenced and annotated for evidentiary purposes.
To stay current with the ever-changing socio-economic issues faced by the various types of fish harvesters who often have competing interests in order to tactfully and safely settle disputes between groups.
During an inspection or where a violation has occurred, to quickly decide what evidence must be collected to support a prosecution. There is a need to evaluate information on the state of mind and psychological profile of witnesses and suspects, assess the most appropriate tactics, and to construct or modify interviews with suspects and witnesses regarding non-compliance with Acts and Regulations. Difficulties can include hostile or confrontational situations where efforts are being made by violators and/or other parties who may be present to distract the Officer's attention, to hide or destroy evidence or escape apprehension while the Officer is trying to investigate and maintain control of the situation. In some circumstances, care must be taken to preserve the scene for the K9 unit.
To determine an appropriate course of action when faced with equipment failure in situations where inaction or incorrect action could result in serious injury or death to the Fishery Officer or others and/or the severe damage or loss of very costly government equipment, e.g. vessels, vehicles, cameras or night vision gear.
To paraphrase, interpret and explain clearly a myriad of comprehensive Acts, Regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines, to explain the content and objectives of fisheries and habitat management plans and how they relate to the issues at hand, and to explain these to individuals with varying degrees of education and experience, various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, often in hostile environments requiring significant control of personal emotions and actions while trying to maintain a professional deportment as an enforcement officer.
When analyzing the success or failure of enforcement activities, be able to recommend alternative strategies for improving the effectiveness of enforcement plans and surveillance activities, fishery and habitat management plans and co-management accords. This requires extensive reading and analysis of a wide range of data from a variety of sources including investigation reports, enforcement data, legal decisions and/or the annual post seasonal analysis of enforcement operations.
Intellectual effort and judgement must be exercised in any enforcement situation since any approach to a potential violator may result in the application of the elements of the continuum of force, using the theory and techniques of physical presence, verbal judo, open and closed hand contact, pepper spray, ASP baton and including the use of lethal force. Intellectual effort and quick thinking is required to make serious decisions in a short time period. Officers must constantly be watching for physical, verbal and non-verbal cues of a person's intended behaviour as decisions must be made instantly in order for the Officer to safely carry out his/her duties and responsibilities which can include the protection of his/her life, and the lives of colleagues and/or the general public who may be bystanders to enforcement operations.
Conflicting priorities often require frequent changes of focus and/or new problems arise which require different thinking and intellectual approaches to address and/or resolve issues.
Intellectual effort is required to plan the collection of intelligence data and statements from many often diverse sources and to thoroughly analyze this information to produce a comprehensive report which presents a coherent and logical sequence of events surrounding a violation and/or inspection plan in order to successfully withstand a challenge in a Court of law. Often the information is difficult to obtain as it may be from reluctant or unreliable sources and might be deliberately falsified. On occasion when leading or involved in major investigations may be challenged by managers and /or their legal counsel on site.
When investigating or inspecting Fisheries-related incidents, or compliance with Fisheries legislation and/or regulations, intellectual effort is required to establish the causes and whether or not due diligence was exercised by the suspect. There may be multiple causes and precedents which need to be considered before arriving at a decision to prosecute. Often circumstances require that decisions need to be reached quickly where consultation with others is impossible or impractical.
Intellectual effort is required to analyze and interpret investigative evidence and/or inspection results, compare them to regulatory and evidentiary obligations, and organize the findings in a manner suitable for the timely preparation of re-inspections, investigations and execution of search warrants to avoid loss or deterioration of evidence. Forensic investigations include the seizure of thousands of documents and or computer records that must all be carefully analyzed (which can take months of tedious analysis) to determine their relevance to the investigation as the costs of prosecution can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Often very tight time frames add complexity to analysis and interpretation due to legal processes which must be followed.
Intellectual effort is required to think clearly and logically while presenting evidence in court, often as a prosecution witness especially for major complex cases. Quick thinking on the witness stand is needed to respond to hostile and extraneous questions by defense lawyers.
Intellectual effort is required to interpret laboratory sample results and field sample results and to explain these results to clients.
Intellectual effort is required when responding to public inquiries and complaints, as officers often deal with demanding, hostile or emotionally distraught complainants in order to determine appropriate responses to the situation.
Intellectual effort is required to plan and develop training which meets departmental standards in the least amount of time where course materials to be covered are dictated by the standard, and the time allocated will not allow for much discussion. The incumbent is required to ensure that all candidates meet the required standard and this is achieved through an assessment of individual performance.
(12) Sustained Attention
Sustained attention is required for prolonged periods of time when conducting surveillance operations, monitoring fishing and habitat activities and/or gathering evidence in support of prosecutions. There is little tolerance for a lapse in attention as critical activity and/or evidence can easily be missed or overlooked negatively affecting the success of the operation. This function comprises up to 20 % of the officer's field time.
Sustained attention is required when operating high speed (+40knots) program vessels in close proximity to other vessels, fishing gear, and/or when navigating in extreme weather conditions, in shallow, shoal waters, in a constantly moving and unstable environment where lapses in attention can lead to accidents and/or collisions compromising Officer safety, the safety of colleagues and/or clients. There is little or no tolerance for a lapse in attention. This function comprises up to 15% of an Officer's field time.
Sustained attention must be exercised while driving short or long distances, conducting day or night patrols in all types of weather conditions such as rain, fog, snow, etc. Lapses in attention can result in accidents, personal injury, injury to colleagues and/or the members of the general public and destruction of a crown vehicle. There is little or no tolerance for a lapse in attention. Distractions while driving and towing program vessels are common and include radio or cell phone calls, changing traffic and/or road/weather conditions, and the physical and mental state of the driver i.e. tired, emotionally charged, etc. This function comprises up to 30% of the Officer's field time.
Sustained attention is required when conducting covert operation and/or following suspect vehicles during moving surveillance operations, requiring special operation procedures often for extended periods of time. Lapses in attention can result in failed enforcement operations as contact with the suspect is lost and there is no second chance to gather evidence associated with a specific violation. There is little tolerance for a lapse in attention. This function comprises up to 10% of the officer's field time.
Sustained attention is required when conducting enforcement activities, including armed boardings on fishing vessels, working on decks, in the holds and/or in the processing areas while fishing gear or processing equipment operate. There is little tolerance for lapse in attention as it can lead to compromising Officer safety, the safety of colleagues and/or clients. These boardings can last several days and comprise up to 15% of the Officer's field time.
Sustained attention is required when conducting aerial surveillance for the purpose of gathering many pieces of information and evidence often in a split second. There is little tolerance for lapse in attention as the information gathered often leads to court proceedings. These situations often last a few hours and occasionally for several days and comprise up to 10% of the Officer's field time.
Sustained attention is required when executing search warrants as it is not possible to leave the crime scene until everything is searched. Warrants are often executed in the face of hostile situations. Search warrants are executed several times a year and can last on average one day.
Sustained attention is required when analyzing masses of data collected (documents/computer records) as a result of complex investigations (for example forensic). Officers must be able to review, catalogue and analyze information hours on end, day by day, week by week and must remain focused on the task at hand to make certain no relevant evidence is overlooked. As the information often becomes key evidence in a court case, Officers must ensure that tedious tagging, cataloguing and evidence storage procedures have been precisely followed. These types of investigations can occur several times a year.
Between 60-70% of an Officer's time is spent in the field conducting these types of activities.
Between 30-40% of an Officer's time is spent on non-field activities.
Testifying in court requires long periods of sustained attention to hear clearly, understand and respond appropriately to questions posed by the Crown prosecutor or defense counsel whose job it is to discredit the evidence or the Officer giving testimony. Inappropriate responses can jeopardize the outcome of the case in court and there is often no second opportunity to present evidence or testimony. There is no tolerance for a lapse in attention. This function comprises up to 5% of the officer's non-field time.
Entering enforcement-related data into the Departmental Violations System requires sustained attention depending on the nature and status of the offence. As this system is on-line and available to other Officers who may encounter the same individual(s) within a short time span, it is essential that data entry is timely and accurate. Failure to enter data accurately could precipitate an inappropriate enforcement response by another Officer. For example, an Officer's safety may inadvertently be jeopardized if information on a dangerous individual was not entered into the system or where incorrect or incomplete information results in enforcement actions against the wrong person because the name of a person or vessel was incorrectly entered into the system. This function occurs in an office environment where there are interruptions by colleagues, a requirement to respond to telephone/radio calls, and/or distractions by clients being served at the front counter. There is little or no tolerance for a lapse in attention. This function comprises up to 5% of an Officer's non-field time.
Sustained attention is required while gathering information concerning violations or providing information over the telephone, radio phone, responding to Officers' queries re information on previous violations by individuals, requesting assistance where Officers have found themselves in dangerous situations, and/or in the preparation of briefing materials and reports that will be used by senior management within the Region or at National Headquarters. In the case of briefing materials, such materials are most often prepared within very short time frames where mistakes in facts could embarrass the department and/or the Minister. The same kind of distractions as noted in the previous paragraph also apply. There is little tolerance for a lapse in attention. This function comprises 5% of an Officer's non-field time.
The balance of the time is expended on administrative matters, equipment maintenance, activity reporting, attending meetings, training or taking leave. While on duty, there is little tolerance for a lapse in attention.
Sustained attention is required when attending training courses on environmental or health and safety issues. Attention is mandatory for the effective delivery of inspections or investigations and to maintain a safe working environment. Need for attention during these courses is continuous.
Sustained attention is required when delivering training and making presentations. Distractions can include phone calls, office visits, conversations, changing priorities and general background noise.
Sustained attention is required when chairing, facilitating or participating in public consultations, technical committees, advisory groups and ad-hoc working groups. Internal inferences and external events may disrupt meetings.
(13) Psychological/Emotional Effort
Required to remain impartial, calm, controlled and professional on a continuous basis while dealing with people who are often angry or irate, who are often under the influence of drugs or alcohol, who are in disagreement with laws, regulations and/or policies of the department, or who are or have been subjected to or are the subject of an enforcement operation or lawyers who are representing defendants. This creates highly charged and emotional situations contributing to the strained and tense interaction between the Officer, the individual or groups of individuals. From time to time, but with a growing frequency, threats of physical harm are made against the Officers and their families. There is no control over the timing or frequency of these situations.
There is significant emotional and psychological effort required when assuming a false identity during covert enforcement operations. Having to adopt another personality or physical characteristics may conflict with the moral values of the Officer.
Coping with the stress and anxiety over the knowledge that operational decisions can influence the personal safety of informants, their families, colleagues and their families, particularly during special enforcement operations. There is limited control over the timing and frequency of these events.
Coping with any anxiety experienced when dealing with the aftermath of a violent or potentially violent situation. In remote areas, there is often no ready access to counsellors who are able to deal effectively and on a timely basis with Critical Incident Stress. There is no control over the timing and frequency of these situations.
Coping with the isolation from family due to long periods of absence from home due to operational requirements, often with little or no advance notice or preparation time. Some patrols and assignments can last in excess of 28 days. This results in the disruption of family life, missed personal commitments, marriage breakdowns and a general increase in tension and stress in the home.
Emotional and psychological effort is required when dealing and coping with unpleasant circumstances when responding to emergencies and assisting other agencies in a disaster situation, accidents and/or the requirement to provide emergency first aid. Officers are often expected to respond to drownings, car accidents, missing persons and other such emergencies and they are expected to provide assistance to the local police agency in recovering bodies or assisting on-site where they may control the directing of traffic and/or communications with rescue personnel.
Coping with anxiety resulting from isolated postings and living in small communities where the Officer has to maintain a professional distance and where they and their families are ostracized by the community given the fact they are Enforcement Officers. There is no control over the reaction of others to the enforcement actions an Officer might have to take against community members.
Effort is required to control the adrenaline rush of emotions that occur when engaging in special high-risk day or night overt and covert enforcement activities. On occasion, this can include scuba diving. These all require a high degree of timing and precise execution and Officers must exert effort to stay calm and alert to the potential dangers of the situation.
Effort is required to remain cognizant of the fact that an Officer must conduct his off-duty activities in a manner consistent with the Fishery Officer Code of Conduct, an obligation that is not placed on other department employees.
Coping with the anxiety associated with apprehension of high profile citizens, the charging of major corporations or municipalities and/or Federal and Provincial government departments including dealing with the media who may be covering the situation.
Psychological and emotional effort is required when one is unable to express one's own opinion when questioned by the public, business sector, or media on contentious matters and having to only respond with factual information or the department's official position. This often results in frustration which must be controlled.
(14) Physical Effort
The work requires intermittent but sustained periods of physical effort to retrieve, lift and move heavy equipment including scuba diving gear, seized fishing gear and/or fish weighing in excess of 20 kilograms, traversing up hills, on uneven ground, and/or working on unstable platforms. The frequency of this activity varies from 3 to 4 hours a week and on occasions longer, depending on the nature of enforcement activities being conducted and/or the time of year.
The work has a daily requirement to transit unstable environments, including rough terrain, climbing from vessel to vessel, climbing ladders while carrying personal protective gear and associated defensive weapons and other surveillance-related and support equipment which includes cameras, telescopes, binoculars, portable communication radios and safety equipment such as first aid kits. While conducting boardings or walking over significant distances (1/2 k to 5k on a regular basis and up to 12 k occasionally), an Officer must carry equipment weighing in excess of 20 kilograms. These activities occur regularly in all seasons and types of weather conditions.
The work requires physical effort when launching and recovering boats, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles to and from trailers.
The work requires physical effort in apprehending and subduing violators attempting to evade capture and prosecution. These individuals are often aggressive and combative which requires skill, significant strength and endurance to gain control and subdue these people.
The work often requires remaining in the same position for several hours during day or night covert surveillance, often in confined spaces with little or no opportunity to move around or stretch. This can also be compounded and affected by the weather conditions (rain, fog, ice or snow), excessive temperatures (cold or hot), humidity and/or the nature of the physical topography (rocky ground, hidden ledges or depressions in the ground). Movement may attract attention and compromise Officer safety and the operation. This activity averages 1 to 2 times per week.
The work may also require remaining seated for long periods of time while driving a vehicle, operating a program vessel and/or while working in the office at a computer terminal or at a desk. Approximately 35% of the Officer's time is spent in a seated position while conducting surveillance and office duties.
The work requires remaining seated for long periods of time while conducting aerial surveillance. Flights can last from 2 to 9 hours and take place on an average of 10 times per year but can be as high as 40 to 50 times per year in areas where air surveillance is a key for patrolling large geographical areas. During these flights, an Officer can experience rapid and repetitive pressurization changes and high gravitational forces during excessive turbulence that can last for sustained periods.
Practicing and qualifying with firearm to maintain departmental standards for 4-6 hours at a time, 2-3 times per year.
Physical demands include the wearing of cumbersome clothing such as survival suit, life jacket and body armour as well as the carrying of a firearm, ammunition, baton, handcuffs, pepper spray and a radio in the performance of duties for 8-12 hours at a time, 100 or more times per year. ***(Weighing 12 to 25 lbs)
(15) Work Environment
Psychological Work Environment:
On a daily basis, there is the requirement to carry out a variety of patrols on land, air and/or sea for hours or days, with some vessel patrols lasting up to 14 days. There is also the requirement to take the appropriate enforcement response given the circumstances or when the safety of an Officer is potentially threatened, which could require the use of the continuum of force up to and including the use of deadly force.
When working aboard ships, there is physical isolation from family and community for the duration with limited or no possibility of going home after work. Stress and anxiety are created by a lack of privacy on board ships due to the requirement to share accommodations and living space on a daily basis with some patrols lasting 14 days.
On a daily basis, there is the requirement to be in contact with clients of all types for all manner of reasons. Several times per day, there is the potential requirement to deal with angry, abusive and irate people making complaints about the department or expressing derogatory views about the government in general. There is a requirement to deal with individuals who have been subject to departmental enforcement actions, which creates strained or highly volatile circumstances.
Stress and anxiety are created when angry and irate fish harvesters conduct illegal protest fisheries, occupy departmental property or facilities for long periods as demonstrations of civil disobedience. There is no control over the frequency and duration of these demonstrations.
Stress can also be a result of threats or actual physical harm to the Fishery Officer or his/her family or damage to personal or government property.
Stress, anxiety and strained work relationships are created in the work environment when internal audits and investigations result from internal and citizen complaints regarding an Officer's conduct. This anxiety and stress is compounded by long delays in establishing facts and delays in dealing with the impact of the results of these investigations.
Stress and anxiety can result from boardings of Canadian and foreign vessels and remaining on board for several days while maintaining continuity of evidence while decisions regarding the nature of enforcement actions are made at the regional, national and international levels. The extended time periods on board cause high tensions between Fishery Officers and the ship's crew.
Stress can result from irregular working hours, changing shifts and schedules, extended periods of overtime, abrupt changes in pre-planned leave due to operational requirements. There is no control over the timing and frequency of these situations.
On occasion, there is a requirement to assist other agencies in accident, emergency and disaster situations where the Officer may encounter extremely unpleasant circumstances involving death or serious injury of persons.
There is a requirement to render emergency first aid to persons who are injured in enforcement activities or who are victims of accidents and/or emergency or disaster situations.
Isolated posts (small islands and remote communities) have the potential to focus frustrations from clients on to the Officer and the Officer's family. This has the significant potential to create tensions in the day-to-day community interaction and in the Officers' home. There is no way to determine frequency or duration of such hostility and tension.
Stress is also caused when working in isolated locations and having to depend on equipment such as generators, pumps, radiotelephones that are subject to failure without the necessary support services.
In the office work environment, it is often difficult to maintain concentration or to control the pace of the work for any length of time due to the shared nature of the support resources, e.g. one desktop computer station for two or three Officers and the open office concept with a general lack of privacy. Interruptions are frequent during the day due to conflicting work demands, changing schedules, short deadlines, answering telephones and/or radio calls.
When dealing with certain aspects of the fishery, the Officer is subjected on a daily basis to sustained periods of foul odours such as bait for fishing gear, fish being processed in plants or on-board fishing vessels and/or the potential contact and/or exposure to dangerous chemicals or fumes while attending to environmental spills and/or emergency situations.
There is a frequent requirement to conduct enforcement activities while in a state of fatigue due to sleep deprivation caused by adverse weather conditions, requirements for continuity of evidence and/or the requirement to work irregular hours. This activity can occur at any time on a regular basis.
Stress is created from the knowledge that operational decisions may influence the personal safety of colleagues and/or informants - particularly during the course of special operations.
Physical Work Environment:
There is a requirement to work and conduct enforcement activities in confined environments that can contain a variety of potential weapons found on boats and/or in fish plants where knives, poles, oars, paddles, rocks, gaffs, firearms and dogs are common.
There is a requirement to conduct enforcement and compliance activities on land, at sea, on lakes and/or rivers and in the air where there can be extreme, sudden and unexpected weather conditions or where there are unsafe ice conditions.
There is a requirement to work in close proximity to fishing gear, heavy machinery used in forest harvesting operations, road building, fish processing equipment, and industrial manufacturing facilities.
There is a daily requirement to conduct enforcement activities requiring transiting over unstable terrain in all types of weather and in highly variable ranges of temperature (-40C to +35C), in varying light conditions, and some operations can last twenty four hours per day.
There is a daily requirement to operate and endure prolonged periods on or in vehicles travelling over rough roads and terrain in all types of weather, at all times of the year, at all hours of the day or night. There is constant exposure to noise, heat or cold, high winds, ice, snow, rain and/or dust.
While conducting patrols on the water, the platform is constantly pitching and rolling and often times the deck is wet and slippery. Patrols are performed in all seasons, at all times of the day or night, and in all weather conditions. There is almost constant loud engine noise when working aboard in-shore program vessels. Diesel fumes and gasoline fumes are always present. When working on vessels in the winter, the Officer will experience temperature extremes from the cabin to the deck where it can be freezing cold. The warm spaces on vessels are often crowded and uncomfortable. This activity occurs several times per week all year.
There is a requirement to conduct enforcement and compliance activities on pack ice that presents an unpredictable, constantly changing surface.
While scuba diving, there can be strong currents, limited visibility and/or overhead obstacles such as nets or fishing lines.
There is a frequent requirement when conducting boardings to enter into and inspect fish holds and freezers for one to four hours. These places are often dark, may be severely confined, and temperatures may range from -25 to -45 degrees Celsius. The change in temperature from deck to fish hold can be in excess of 70 degrees Celsius.
During inspections or searches for fish/fish products, there is the requirement for loading and offloading of equipment such as forklifts, winches and booms as well as transport trucks.
There is the frequent requirement to conduct sustained covert surveillance operations, working irregular/rotating shifts, often working in confined and uncomfortable natural surroundings, in all kinds of weather, wearing cumbersome equipment, e.g. body armour, duty belt containing a sidearm, ASP baton, pepper spray, handcuffs, magazines, flashlights, radios, heavy boots, foul weather gear, survival suits, life jackets, etc. Surveillance locations are often on rocky shorelines, the damp and dirty areas around wharves and harbours affording the best vantage points.
Working in the office while keyboarding, data entry, typing letters, memos or reports and/or retrieving information can lead to extended periods of exposure to glare from fluorescent lights and computer screens. Also extensive keyboarding can expose muscles and tendons to repetitive injury syndrome common to office workers.
Air surveillance is often conducted at low levels less than 300 feet and conditions are often turbulent.
As enforcement operations are often conducted in tidal areas that can be subject to extreme fluctuations in water levels and currents, Officers must exercise care to make certain that they are not trapped or stranded from their vessels and/or vehicles.
(16) Risk to Health
There is daily exposure to the potential for stabbing or the discharge of firearms by clients and poachers, at and in the general direction of the Officer when he/she is engaged in enforcement activities. This exposure could lead to grievous bodily harm or death and as such, an Officer is required to wear body armour while conducting enforcement activities.
There is a risk of injury, grievous bodily harm or death due to encountering wild animals (most often bears) in remote areas while conducting enforcement duties. There is also a risk of contracting hepatitis C from contaminated shellfish and rockfish .
There is a risk to the Officer's health when conducting enforcement duties at a variety of locations, including on board vessels that have factory processing and freezing capability and at industrial facilities where there is potential for exposure to harmful chemicals and other toxic substances, which could result in short term or chronic personal injury.
There is a risk to the Officer's health when he/she is in contact with angry, aggressive and violent individuals on a regular basis while effecting arrests and performing enforcement activities. This can occur several times per week and sometimes several times per day. Officers often encounter people under the influence of alcohol or drugs who frequently exhibit unpredictable behaviour that can increase the risk to the Officer's safety.
The officer is at risk of being exposed to dangerous communicable diseases when attempting to control or arrest violent individuals who are infected with diseases such as AIDS, HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis. Transmission of these diseases can be through bites and scratches where blood or other bodily fluids are exchanged in an altercation. This poses a significant risk to long-term health and possible terminal illness. Some Officers have been vaccinated as a precaution against hepatitis. There is a similar risk when having to provide emergency care to injured persons the Officer comes in contact with as a result of routine patrol, enforcement action, accidents or requests from other agencies to respond to accidents.
Due to the requirement to spend extended periods of time outdoors, this subjects the Officer to greater levels of "UV" radiation statistically raising the chances of developing associated illnesses.
Extended exposure to all types of weather and working conditions, on a regular basis, all through the year, where icy, wet, slippery and/or unstable surfaces are common. This exposes the Officer to a higher risk of joint, muscle, bone, tendon injury, frostbite, back injuries and muscle fatigue.
Risk of hypothermia and drowning while boarding boats which are moving or when crews are actively resisting boarding attempts at sea which occur in all types of sea conditions at all times of the year.
There is the unpredictable risk of falling through the ice resulting in severe hypothermia or death when conducting enforcement activities on pack ice, frozen lakes and/or rivers.
When diving, there is the risk of nitrogen narcosis, air embolisms, decompression sickness-bends, ruptured eardrums and drowning.
There is a significant exposure to unstable platforms while working at sea resulting in a higher risk of seasickness and dehydration.
Due to the requirement to spend extended periods conducting surveillance, monitoring and compliance activities in wooded areas, the Officer is exposed to a higher risk of anaphylactic shock and cumulative effects of being infected with disease from insects and/or being bitten by rabid animals or allergic reactions to bites and stings, e.g. lime disease, West Nile Virus, etc.
Significant stress where there is a threat to personal injury and safety where an Officer is required to use force to defend himself/herself or his or her colleagues or to bring a resistant individual under control. This could require the application of deadly force. These types of situations are considered extremely dangerous and pose a significant risk to physical and mental health.
There is a frequent requirement to participate on aircraft or helicopter patrols and at certain times be required to conduct operations under hazardous circumstances in order to gather evidence or investigate illegal activities.
Due to the diverse nature of the work and the various pressures faced, the work is mentally taxing and stressful. There is limited control over the daily frequency of interruptions and changes of priorities. There is no control over the manner in which dissatisfied clients choose to express or to vent their frustrations often calling the Officer at home. This can cause extreme stress and lead to the requirement for counseling and to absences from work.
Due to the occasional requirement to assist other agencies, Officers are exposed to accident, emergency and disaster situations which may leave a lasting impression on the Officer. This can lead to a requirement for short or long term Critical Incident Stress counselling.
Officers are required to operate a wide variety of enforcement platforms under all types of weather conditions, lifting large or awkward items seized in connection with the commission of an offence and/or the requirement to move heavy objects up and down stairs. These activities pose a considerable risk for back, hand, bone, joint and muscle injuries that may have long-lasting effects and possibly lead to disability.
Due to the requirement to carry a wide range of enforcement equipment on his/her duty belt plus additional personal protection equipment, weighing from 12 to 25 lbs., an Officer increases the risk of drowning if he/she accidentally falls into the water.
Due to the length of time and frequency of vehicle patrols and/or covert mobile vehicle surveillance, Officers are at a statistically higher exposure level to the risk of traffic accidents that could result in long-term injuries, disabilities and possibly death.
Significant threat for severe personal injuries as the Officer is required to work in close proximity to heavy equipment used in logging or road building, fish processing equipment in plants or on board vessels and industrial manufacturing facilities.
Engaging in covert operations where an Officer is required to work closely with violators in order to gain their confidence can cause significant stress and threat of grievous bodily injury or death and if the Officer's true identity becomes known, it could place him/her at risk.
While working in the office environment, there is risk of repetitive injury syndromes affecting the wrists, hands and fingers while doing key boarding and word processing, as well as eye strain caused by the glare from computers and back injury from uncomfortable chairs and improperly adjusted work stations.
Loss of hearing due to exposure for prolonged periods of time to vessel, vehicle and/or aircraft engine noise.
Acts, Orders and Regulations
- Coastal Fisheries Protection Act
- Fisheries Act
- Oceans Act
- Species at Risk Act
- Fishing Zones of Canada (Zones 1, 2, and 3) Order
- Fishing Zones of Canada (Zones 4 and 5) Order
- Fishing Zones of Canada (Zone 6) Order
- Territorial Sea Geographical Coordinates Order
- Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations
- Atlantic Fishery Regulations,1985
- British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations
- Coastal Fisheries Protection Regulations
- Fish Toxicant Regulations
- Fishery (General) Regulations
- Foreign Vessel Fishing Regulations
- Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations
- Marine Mammal Regulations
- Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations
- Newfoundland Fishery Regulations
- Northwest Territories Fishery Regulations
- Pacific Fishery Management Area Regulations
- Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993
- Yukon Territory Fishery Regulations
- Date modified: