Each Fishery Officer must be capable of monitoring fishing operations and
performing enforcement activities in two different environments. Some
individuals are primarily land-based and other individuals are primarily
sea-based but each employee in this group must be able to perform in either
Fishery Officers must be capable of prolonged periods of activity with no
significant outside resources.
Fishery Officers must be able to observe at a distance and identify
individuals in order to testify concerning a case and therefore must have good
vision, colour vision and hearing.
Vision and Hearing are also important from safety and security perspectives.
Land-based Fishery Officers are tasked with monitoring and reporting on
fishing activities using a variety of surveillance techniques, including aerial
surveillance and on-site observation.
Officers travel by and operate all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, motor
vehicles and small boats. For many operations, walking significant distances (up
to one (1) mile) over rough terrain is required. Direct observation is often
conducted from cover in rough terrain over prolonged periods and at all hours of
the day and night. These employees wear soft body armour (weighing some 7-10
lbs.) and carry 12-14 lbs. of equipment. Additional dry clothes may be carried
on some operations. Employees may be exposed to harsh weather conditions for
Their duties require good vision in a variety of lighting conditions; night
vision apparatus may be used. Good peripheral vision is required for safety and
operational reasons. These employees also require good hearing which include
Suspects often flee and the Fishery Officer pursue them on foot, restraining
and subduing them, potentially with the use of pepper spray and small arms.
After an arrest, it may be necessary to carry "the evidence" for significant
distances over rough ground and up steep slopes.
In the sea-based portion of their duties, Fishery Officers may operate small
vessels or accompany seamen on larger vessels for periods of up to 28 days
continuously. They operate lightweight inflatable boats, potentially in high
winds and rough seas during boarding operations.
A typical boarding virtually involves climbing a rope ladder onto a pitching
vessel which can be expected to have slippery decks. These boardings may be
resisted. It is important that the Fishery Officers be able to move about
rapidly on the boarded vessel in order to ensure that evidence is not destroyed.
Vessel inspections at sea have on occasion lasted u to several days.
Fishery Officers wear survival suits in case they fall into the water during
boarding. They may be armed with submachine guns and even operate heavy machine
guns on some vessels.
Land and Sea-Based
Physical strength, co-ordination and agility are therefore requirements of
Land and sea-based employees are required to participate in a limited
physical fitness assessment program which tests cardiovascular fitness for the
significant physical demands of the job (significant METS) as well as upper body
strength and agility.
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- Must be capable of identifying objects/persons at a distance and detecting
signal lights/navigation lights
- Must have good peripheral Vision and depth perception. Must have good
- Must understand voice communication by speaking, shouting or radio, often
with background noise.
- Must be able to discriminate colours.
- Must have normal strength, co-ordination and balance.
- Must have good manual dexterity in order to use pepper spray, baton,
firearms and handcuffs.
- Must be able to lift and carry heavy loads (20 kg unassisted) over rough
ground and uphill.
- Must have an adequate cardiovascular reserve for dealing with high degrees
of physical activity in adverse weather conditions and/or during stressful
- Must not have significant mental health problems which would preclude
being issued a firearm and/or which would preclude safely carrying out
- Must not have a mental health condition which results in aggressive
response in a stressful situation.
- Must not suffer from a condition which could result in sudden
- Must not have a medical condition which is likely to require emergency
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Should not have peripheral vascular disease including Raynaud's Disease or
Berger's Disease as these workers are often called upon to work for prolonged
periods in harsh weather conditions.
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||III, every 3
years up to age 39
Every 2 years age 40-54,
One year thereafter
of Exposed Skin for UV related changes
*1 Assessment to include questionnaire related to risk for cardiovascular
*2 To be carried out by examiner who should refer to a psychiatrist as
*3 Glasses and hard or soft contact lenses are acceptable provided the person
meets the uncorrected standard.
*4 Refer to Vision Standards - An Overview.
*5 HINT (Hearing in noise test). Refer to Frequently Asked Questions - Hearing Test for the Fishery Officer Position.
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Adequate vision is necessary for a wide variety of jobs in the public service.
Vision is relied upon more heavily than any of the other senses, and there is a
strong correlation between visual acuity and labour efficiency. Decreased acuity
is usually first detected by the affected individual who would then seek help. The
likelihood of finding unrecognized changes in visual acuity is dependent on the
age of the worker, the presence of refractive errors, family history of eye disease,
or other ocular pathology.
Corrected Vision 6/9* in Better Eye, 6/15 in Other Eye, Uncorrected Vision at
least 6/60 in Each Eye
Corrected Vision 6/9 in Better Eye, 6/15 in Other Eye (exception permitted for
other Eye in those situations outlined in No.2 “Substandard Vision in One Eye.”)
Where an exception clause has been used, it must be documented.
Corrected Vision 6/9 in One Eye (i.e., monocular vision).
2. Substandard Vision in one Eye - Exception
Where a worker has congenital substandard vision in one eye (corrected vision
in Better Eye is 6/9 but in other eye is less than 6/15 but is at least 6/60), the
worker will be considered as meeting the requirements including those for safety
sensitive jobs (e.g., operating vehicles, use of a firearm, etc.) where the worker
meets the following conditions:
- The employee has undertaken an eye examination by an
ophthalmologist or optometrist whose report indicates that the
visual acuity in the better eye meets Class I and corrected
vision in Other Eye is at least 6/60;
Visual fields meet standard
The ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s
opinion includes a statement to the effect that visual defect is unlikely to interfere
with safe performance of duties considering pathogenesis of the condition, visual
fields, stereopsis, depth perception, etc.;
An ophthalmologist’s or optometrist’s
report will be required annually if the condition causing the reduced vision is
*6/9 is metric. This can be expressed as 20/30 in feet. 6/15 is equivalent to
3. Visual Fields
- The Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety states
that one-eyed people have very good monocular space perceptions
and may be employed in nearly all occupations, if all other
visual qualities are normal, and if they have been one-eyed for
more than two years (2).
A limited number of occupations
require full visual fields in both eyes, e.g., 120°.
Visual fields at a minimum
should be tested using Confrontation screening method by examiner and where a defect
is noted either a Goldman Test and/or a referral to an eye specialist.
4. Colour Vision
- The ability to discriminate
colours results from the proper interaction of the red, green and blue retinal systems.
Normal colour vision is described as trichromatic. When one of the systems is missing,
vision is called dichromatic. Complete colour blindness-black-white vision - is
monochromatic. Dichromacy can involve red, green or blue defects referred to as
protanopia, deuteranopia and tritanopia respectively.
Colour vision defects are
inherited by approximately 8% of men. The most commonly detected problem, anomalous trichromacy, causes varying degrees of loss of colour vision ranging from almost
none to complete dichromacy of one of the primary colours. Inherited green
defects are the most prevalent; blue defects are extremely rare.
Colour discrimination is age dependent, peaking at about age 20, declining
slightly after age 35, and markedly after age 55. Blue-green vision is most
affected by age as the yellowing of the aging crystalline lens absorbs blue
light. Eye diseases such as diabetes or glaucoma can also decrease colour
vision, as can numerous drugs in common use. Repeat testing in those jobs
requiring precise colour vision may thus be necessary. Testing every 6 (six)
years from age 40 has been suggested as a way to identify acquired colour vision
defects. However, a congenital colour vision defect doesn’t change with time and
an acquired colour vision defect is usually asymmetric and proceeded by a change
in visual acuity (secondary to optic nerve and retinal disease). Therefore,
colour vision only changes when visual acuity changes and there is no need for
periodic testing of colour vision unless vision screening shows changes in best
corrected visual acuity of at least two lines, e.g., 6/9 to 6/15.
Colour vision testing is only appropriate for those occupations where a defect
would result in an injury to the worker, or to others or would severely limit
work performance. In almost every job one can envision situations where colour
discrimination would be an asset. Colour blind people however can perform some
colour-related tasks by using visual clues similar to recognizing traffic lights
by position. A detailed assessment of colour vision and colour vision
requirements for various jobs has been performed.
Colour vision is tested using
the Standard Ishihara Test (detects a colour vision deficit).
Where a worker fails the Ishihara Test, they are to be tested using the Farnsworth
D-15 Test (detects the specific type of colour blindness.) A worker who passes the
Farnsworth D-15 Test is considered to meet standards for all tasks, work or jobs
with colour vision requirements including safety sensitive transportation occupations.
In all transportation occupations, a worker who fails both the Ishihara Test and
the Farnsworth D-15 is considered to meet the medical requirements if they can successfully
complete the Holmes-Wright Colour Lantern Test. Note: The Fishery Officer position is not considered a transportation occupation.
5. Colour Vision Standards
Colour Vision Normal (CVN); passes Ishihara test
Colour Vision Acceptable (CVA); fails Class 1 but passes Farnsworth D-15 Colour
Vision Test. For transportation occupations, if a worker fails Farnsworth D-15 Test
a pass on the Holmes-Wright Lantern Test (practical test) will be accepted.
6. Colour Vision Frequency of Testing
Should be done pre-placement. There is no need for periodic testing of colour
vision unless there is a significant change in visual acuity (e.g., person “needs
new glasses” or there is a change in best corrected visual acuity of 2 lines or
more e.g. from 6/9 to 6/15).
What is the standard for hearing?
How is the hearing standard measured?
What is the HINT?
What is the SAINT?
How are the HINT and SAINT tests administered?
How long are the HINT and SAINT tests?
Where are the HINT and SAINT tests administered?
How can I prepare myself for the tests?
What is the standard
The hearing standard measures whether a person has the set of
hearing abilities to enable them to perform their normal daily
work activities that require hearing – focusing on those activities
for which hearing is critical.
How is the hearing
Ability to meet the hearing standard is assessed using two tests,
the Hearing in Noise Test (HINT), and the Sound Azimuth in Noise
What is the HINT?
The Hearing in Noise Test – commonly referred to as HINT, measures
an individual’s ability to understand speech in noise, at various
levels. In the test, short simple sentences are presented at
various levels with and without background noise and participants
are instructed to repeat what they hear.
What is the SAINT?
The Sound Azimuth in Noise Test – commonly referred to as SAINT,
measures an individual’s ability to detect and localize sound.
During the test, individuals are asked to indicate when they
hear a pistol shot and the direction from which the shot originated.
How are the HINT
and SAINT tests administered?
Both the HINT and SAINT tests are administered by a Health Canada
physician or nurse as part of the candidate’s Health Canada
The participants are required to wear earphones for both tests.
For the HINT, the participants must repeat to the administrator,
the simple sentences that they hear through the earphones. For
the SAINT, the participants must indicate to the administrator
from which direction they hear a pistol shot.
How long are the
HINT and SAINT tests?
The HINT and SAINT tests, on average, take approximately thirty
minutes to complete.
Where are the HINT and SAINT tests administered?
The HINT and SAINT tests are currently administered by Health
Canada in major centers across Canada.
How can I prepare
myself for the tests?
There is no studying required to be successful with the HINT
and SAINT. It is important to note that, in some instances,
participants loose their concentration during the test therefore
it is imperative to remain focused throughout the entire test.
It is essential that, during the HINT test, the participants
repeat exactly what is said, word-for-word.
It is recommended that the participants not be subjected
to loud and noisy environments between 12 and 24 hours prior
to the administration of the HINT and SAINT tests.