Dockside Fishery Observer

2023 Job Posting - Roe Herring Dockside Observer.pdf

J.O. Thomas and Associates Ltd. is a Vancouver-based consulting firm providing professional and technical fisheries-related services.



Roe Herring Dockside Monitoring Program



Fishery observer, dockside observer, dockside monitor, catch validator


Job Description:

The 2023 commercial roe herring fishery requires dockside observers to monitor and verify catch landings at designated landing ports in the B.C. lower mainland and mid-east coast Vancouver Island. Dockside observers are designated by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to carry out their duties. They provide accurate, timely, and independent third-party verification of commercial roe herring catch landings.


The dockside observer will:

-          Record data and observations

-          Take samples

-          Monitor the landing of fish

-          Report catch results and incidents contrary to the Fisheries Regulations or Conditions of Licence


Potential for additional work with the following:

-          Data input

-          Data QA/QC


Terms of Employment:

-          Seasonal

-          Work period is between February 28, 2023 and March 25, 2023

-          Weekday, weekend, day, night, and evening shifts

-          Must be available through the duration of the fishery



-          Starting at $20.00/hour

-          Starting at minimum 21 hours/week guaranteed pay during the work period for standby status

-          Stipend available to assist with mobile device usage

-          Compensation for travel and living if/when required


Training and Examination:

-          Mandatory training and an examination will be administered by J.O. Thomas and Associates in mid-February of 2023.



-          Metro Vancouver/Vancouver Island designated landing ports (Delta, Richmond, Vancouver, French Creek)



To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume via email to:

Rachel Lee, Program Coordinator at


Dockside Observer Designation Requirements:

-          Current DFO Dockside Observer Designation considered an asset

-          Have successfully completed high school or have equivalent knowledge. Will consider candidates with experience in the fishing industry with a similar skill set.

-          Be eligible to work in Canada.

-          Consent to a Criminal Record Check.

-          No serious convictions of the Fisheries Act or Regulations.

-          Able to meet the physical requirements of the job including but not limited to climbing ladders and boarding fishing vessels.

-          Successfully complete a DFO-approved DMP training program with a pass mark of 75% in each module.



High school graduation required. Degree, diploma, or technical training in natural resource management, biology, zoology, environmental science, aquaculture, conservation management, etc. is preferred but, not limiting. Will consider candidates with experience in fisheries conservation, natural resource conservation or fields with a similar skill set.


Required Duties and Skills:

-          Work at fish plants and custom offloading sites

-          Communication with fishery managers, fisheries officers, industry representatives, vessel crew and fish plant workers

-          Embarking/disembarking vessels to fulfill Dockside Observer tasks

-          Validate landed catch weights

-          Observe and report work procedures

-          Record data

-          Report results and incidences


Additional Skills/Character:

-          Works well independently

-          Reports results efficiently and promptly

-          Flexible and responsive to change

-          On time

-          Able to stand for long periods of time

-          Experience working on and around docks and fishing vessels an asset

-          Appropriate certifications for vessel operation an asset (MED-A1, SVOP etc.)



-          You must be available throughout the fishery opening

-          You may require your own reliable transportation to get to and from docks and fish plants

-          You must have a cellphone

-          You may be required to work out of town

-          You must provide proof of up-to-date vaccination status and obtain all eligible vaccines against COVID-19. JO Thomas COVID-19 procedures will be reviewed with successful candidates during training. 


Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities:

Workplace awareness is essential as observations take place in an industrial environment. Offload activities can be fast-paced, loud, wet and in constant motion with industrial machinery running including: pumps, hydraulic lifts, etc. Long work hours can be expected. On occasion, it will be necessary to lift buckets of herring samples weighing up to 20 kilograms onto dollies for transport.


Essential Skills:

Reading text, numeracy, clear record-keeping and writing, oral communication.