Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 06, 2008 15:23 ET

Twenty-One New Fishery Officers Set to Take Up Duty

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - March 6, 2008) - Twenty-one new fishery officers graduated from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) fishery officer training program today. This brings to 105 the number of new officers hired by DFO since August 2006. These new officers will boost DFO's monitoring and surveillance capacity and will enhance conservation efforts on Canadian waters.

"I can't over-state just how important the role of these officers is in protecting and conserving fisheries resources for Canada and for the livelihoods of thousands of Canadians," said Minister Hearn.

This Troop of officers will be posted in areas of greatest operational need. Specifically, one officer will be posted in Newfoundland and Labrador, one officer will be posted in Nova Scotia, seven officers will be posted in New Brunswick, one officer will be posted in Prince Edward Island, ten officers will be posted in Quebec and one officer will be posted in British Columbia. A larger Troop of officers is expected to graduate in May.

In addition to protecting fish and fish habitat, fishery officers promote compliance and conservation, stewardship and sustainability of fisheries for future generations.

DFO recruits and develops candidates to become fishery officers. During the thirty-six months of field and classroom training, skills are acquired in areas such as fish identification, conducting patrols, communications, negotiations and enforcement methods. Cadets are also taught federal fisheries and habitat policies, and legislation, as well as the basics of the Canadian judicial system.

The classroom training portion lasts approximately seventeen weeks. The training is delivered at Government facilities like the Coast Guard College in Sydney, Nova Scotia and the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy Training Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. The last nine weeks of classroom training are generally spent in Regina and focus on officer safety, firearms, self-defense, investigation techniques and the Criminal Code.

"I would like to extend my congratulations to the new officers for completing the training and for choosing a career in the public service," said Minister Hearn.

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 www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media_e.htm.


BACKGROUNDER

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

March 2008

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