At Sea Fisheries Observers
Archipelago Marine Research - Victoria, BC

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Job Description
Archipelago Marine Research Ltd. is now seeking hard working, enthusiastic people to work at sea as Fisheries Observers. While this is a year round employment opportunity work levels are seasonal. The position requires working and living aboard vessels conducting fishing operations in British Columbia waters. Fisheries Observer duties include: documenting catch size and composition, verifying fishing locations, collecting biological samples, monitoring compliance to fishery regulations, and describing fishing and processing techniques within a comprehensive trip report.

Working and Living Conditions
Vessels range in length from 15 feet to over 100 feet. Working conditions on deck are typically wet and can be cold. The job may involve heavy lifting. Many of the vessels operate with 3 or 4 crew members. The Observer will be assigned a bunk in the crew’s quarters, which are usually cramped and may be co-ed.

Training and Certification
Applicants will be screened and interviewed through a competitive process. Successful applicants must then participate in and complete a three-week certification-training course. The next training course start date: July 15th , 2013. Interviews may be conducted throughout the posting period and positions may be filled prior to the closing date. Employment can only be offered to those who have completed this training with a passing grade. Out of town trainees will be provided with accommodation if required. Upon successful completion of the course, applicants’ names will be forwarded to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for screening and final certification. All applicants are required to meet the Government of Canada’s security clearance “Enhanced Reliability – Level 1” before employment will be offered.
Note that the Fisheries Act and Fisheries (General) Regulations state that a person who owns, operates, manages, or is an employee of an enterprise that catches, cultures, processes or transports fish can not be certified as a Fisheries Observer.
Deployments and Work Levels
Observers are deployed from a number of ports in BC. Deployment periods average 24 days in length with each deployment period being made up of individual vessel assignments that average 6 days. Some assignments may extend over 30 days. Between assignments Observers are on active status and are expected to be available within the deployment port. During these active status days, Observers have the use of a staff house.


  • Documenting all fishing activity, including catch size and composition
  • Verifying fishing locations
  • Collecting biological samples
  • Monitoring compliance to fishery regulations
  • Describing fishing and processing techniques in a comprehensive trip report

Successful applicants must have:

  • Experience at sea and not be prone to motion sickness.
  • Completed at least one year of post-secondary education in a related discipline.
  • Experience accurately recording data (at sea preferred).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent math skills.
  • A demonstrated ability to work long hours under adverse conditions and without supervision.
  • A VHF Marine “Restricted Operator’s Certificate (Maritime)”. Arrangements can be made to obtain this certification during the three-week training program.
  • Canadian citizenship or permanent resident/landed immigrant status.
  • Ability to travel freely to and from the USA.
  • Not be an owner or employee of a commercial fishing or processing operation.
  • Ability to meet the Government of Canada’s security clearance "Enhanced Reliability – Level 1" (required to have established residency in Canada for a minimum of five years).

NOTES: All selected applicants must participate in and successfully complete a three-week training course in order to receive fisheries certification. Course dates will be announced as they are scheduled. Please check the posting for updates.
In addition to these qualifications, applicants should have knowledge of marine fish identification and the commercial fishing industry and have some experience working at sea. Preference will be given to those applicants who meet all of these requirements.


  • Wages range from $160.00 to $225.80 per day while working at sea.

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Note: Interviews may be conducted throughout the posting period and the position may be filled prior to the closing date. Archipelago offers a competitive compensation package.


About this company
Archipelago Marine Research works with fisheries, governments, and coastal communities around the world to help manage and maintain our...