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Become a fishery officer

Fishery officers work to conserve and protect Canada’s freshwater and marine fisheries resources and habitat, as well as protect us from contaminated shellfish. From boating and aircraft patrols to observing fisheries and fish habitat, you’ll need to be alert and ready for different challenges.

What a fishery officer does in a day

As a fishery officer, you’ll:

A full work description is available for fishery officers.

We're hiring Fishery Officers

Transcript

Voice of FO: When I was a kid, I remember how much fun it was to fish off the wharf.

It seemed like every time I’d walk along the shore, I’d find something cool.

Voice of FO #2: But as time has gone by, pollution, misuse, more and more endangered species, and climate change affecting the entire ecosystem. All of this makes my work more important than ever.

FO: I’ve been a fishery officer for 18 years. This is my office.

FO #2): On the job, we patrol… we enforce… and we educate. You’ll find us on the coastal waters of 3 oceans and our lakes and rivers. An important part of our work is the protection of fish and fish habitat. We keep a close watch on Canada’s marine protected areas, where our focus is on protecting marine species and habitat, from the smallest aquatic creatures right up to and including whales.

We also do some pretty specialized intelligence work, including surveillance and undercover work.

A big part of the job is interacting with the fishers on a day to day basis. And one of the best parts of the job is when we work with kids, helping the next generation see the value our marine environment and why its future must be protected.

FO #2: I got into this line of work initially because I love the outdoors and I care about the environment and that was my starting point… then I got all the training I needed.

FO: 2: And that training is VERY thorough. You learn pretty quickly that being a fishery officer is physically and mentally demanding.

FO #1: But the work is exhilarating and rewarding.

Everywhere we go, and in all that we do, our focus is doing everything we can to protect Canada’s future.

If you’re passionate about the fisheries and the environment…

and you want to make a difference…

this is an amazing career with real potential.

Not your nine-to-five desk job: Why fishery officers love what they do

Transcript

Scottie Griffin, Fishery Officer, BC

“I love being a fishery officer. Being a fishery officer means I can go out in the elements of our beautiful area. I get to explore the coastlines of BC and I also get to go on the freshwater environment and help from salmon in the freshwater to the whales and other marine mammals in the ocean.”

Genevieve Cauffope, Chief of Policy and Regulations

“You meet engaged and passionate people and the work changes from one day to another so you never get bored.”

Derek Chang, Fishery Officer, BC

“On any given day we could be working on a boat, in a truck, in the forest, on the ocean, and it’s extremely exciting.” 
Greg Askey, Fishery Officer, Campbell River BC

“Personally for me my family has been involved in the fishing industry for many generations so I see this as my way of giving back something.”  

Derek Chang, Fishery Officer, BC

“Choosing a career as a fishery officer is extremely rewarding. Working with the public, working with young kids, working with all sorts of different sectors of our community. It’s extremely valuable.” 

Scottie Griffin, Fishery Officer, BC

“You go home every day and you feel like you’ve actually done something to help out the future fisheries of our generations and it’s definitely a feel-good job.” 

Greg Askey, Fishery Officer, Campbell River BC

“Give it a shot. It’s a rewarding, challenging, interesting, varied job that has a lot of personal rewards. Some days on the water when the weather is awesome and you wonder why they’re paying you to be there.”  

Requirements

The working environment for fishery officers can be demanding.

Physically, you’ll be exposed to noise, heat, cold, snow, rain and diesel fumes. You’ll often wear heavy protective equipment like soft body armour (weighing up to 20 kg) while:

Land, air and sea patrols may last hours or days, and your job could be spent outdoors or in an office or vehicle.

The work may require:

You’ll need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to deal with confrontational and sensitive situations, including the potential for use of deadly force. As a fishery officer, you’ll be trained to face these kinds of challenges and be ready to tackle any situation.

Full job expectations are available for fishery officers.

Suitability

If you’re applying to be a fishery officer, you must be:

If you’re a successful applicant, you’ll attend a 16-week in-residence training program. This program includes:

Check your suitability for the job.

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