Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

May 15, 2008 16:00 ET

Thirty New Fishery Officers Set to Take Up Duty

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - May 15, 2008) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today the graduation of 30 new Fishery Officers from the Fishery Officer training program.

In 2006, the Government of Canada committed to increasing the number of fisheries officers to ensure our fisheries resources are protected for generations to come. Since this time, the Government has delivered by graduating 135 new Fishery Officers.

"I am impressed by the quality and caliber of the new officers and would like to congratulate them for completing the rigorous training program and for their dedication to a career in the public service," said Minister Hearn.

"Our government takes protection of fish and fish habitat seriously, and their work will make a real difference to help ensure that fish stocks will be enjoyed by future generations."

These newly appointed officers are charged with enforcement of the Fisheries Act and the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, as well as many other acts and regulations relating to fisheries on Canadian waters, in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) regulatory area, and off Canada's eastern and northern shores.

This troop of officers will be posted in areas of greatest operational need. Seven officers will be posted in Newfoundland and Labrador, six officers will be posted in the Central & Arctic region, four officers will be posted in the Gulf region, seven officers will be posted in the Maritimes, and six officers will be posted in the Pacific region.

In addition to protecting fish and fish habitat, Fishery Officers promote compliance and conservation, stewardship and sustainability of fisheries for future generations. Fishery Officers enhance public awareness of the fishery resources and habitat in several ways including talking to school children and public interest groups about Fisheries and Oceans Canada activities and goals.

The thirty-six month training program consists of in-class as well as in the field training. Skills acquired during the course range from fish identification, conducting patrols, negotiations and enforcement methods. Cadets also learn federal fisheries and habitat policies, and legislation, as well as communications techniques and the basics of the Canadian judicial system.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Training Academy in Regina. Family members and friends of the graduates were on hand for the ceremony.

For more information about the responsibilities of a fishery officer, please see the attached backgrounder or visit http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media_e.htm.

THE ROLE OF A FISHERY OFFICER

RESPONSIBILITIES

The key responsibilities of a fishery officer are to:

- Carry out compliance inspections and enforcement of the laws that govern fishing activity in the aboriginal, commercial, recreational and international fisheries and protect the fish habitat and the aquatic environment.

- Conduct patrols by foot, vehicle, vessels, aircraft, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

- Act as lead investigators or as a member of a team of fishery officers to collect evidence, including forensic evidence on major cases, prepare violation reports and court briefs.

- Promote stewardship of the fisheries resources and fish habitat among various user groups and the general public.

- Present and promote adherence to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing and develop community relationships to support and encourage a strong conservation ethic.

- Investigate and gather intelligence and/or conduct audits on fishing and habitat-related activities to provide status reports on harvesting activities and/or habitat degradation for use by the Department.

- Develop and deliver public education and awareness presentations.

- Act as departmental liaison in communities and provide assistance to other federal, provincial, local and international enforcement agencies.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    613-990-7537
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Joshua Zanin
    Special Assistant, Communications
    613-992-3474
    www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca