Dockside Fishery Observer & Field Technician

2023 - Job Postings - Fishery Dockside Observer Salmon MRP DMP

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


Job Title:

Dockside Observer and Fisheries Field Technician



Commercial Salmon Dockside Monitoring and Biological Sampling Program


Job Description:

Designated Dockside Fishery Observers and Field Technicians are required for the 2023 commercial salmon season to collect biological samples and to monitor and verify catch landings at designated landing ports. Dockside observers and field technicians provide accurate, timely, and independent third-party verification of commercial salmon catch landings, along with accurate and timely collection of biological data.


Terms of Employment:

  • Seasonal
  • Available for weekday, weekend, day and evening shifts
  • Must be available throughout the duration of the fishery



  • Starting at $20.00/hour with opportunities for advancement
  • Travel and Living expenses provided for out-of-town field work


Training and Examination:

  • Mandatory training and examination will be provided by J.O. Thomas and Associates


Work Period:

  • July through September, possible extension into Fall/Winter/early Spring






  • You must have a cellphone
  • You may be required to work out of town
  • You may require your own transportation to get to and from docks and fish plants
  • Be physically fit and able to meet the physical requirements of the job including but not limited to climbing ladders and boarding fishing vessels.
  • You must provide proof of full vaccination and obtain all eligible vaccines against COVID-19. JO Thomas COVID-19 procedures will be reviewed with successful candidates during training.

DFO Regional Director General Designation Requirements:

  • Legally eligible to work in Canada.
  • Evidence of a Criminal Record Check is required
  • Successfully complete a DFO-approved Dockside Observer training program with a pass mark of 75% in each module.

Have no significant financial interest in a commercial or recreational fishing business that harvests, processes, or sells commercial/recreational fishery products.



High school graduation or equivalent knowledge base.


A degree, diploma, or technical training in areas of natural resource management, biology, zoology, environmental science, aquaculture, conservation management, etc. is preferred, but not limiting.



  • Valid DFO Dockside Observer Designation is an asset.


Required Duties:

  • Identify Pacific Salmon species.
  • Collect biological data effectively and efficiently.
  • Work in industrial settings found at fish plants and custom offloading sites.
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate and build rapport with fishery managers, fisheries officers, industry representatives, vessel crew and fish plant workers.
  • Monitor the landing of fish.
  • Verify catch landings through validation of landed catch weights and pieces.
  • Observe and report catch results, occurrences, and work procedures in timely manner.
  • Record data/results and occurrences.


Additional Assets:

  • Reliable and works well independently and within a team.
  • Reports data efficiently and promptly to coordinators.
  • Flexible and responsive to change.
  • Physically fit to work in a dynamic environment where extended periods of standing are required.
  • Comfortable working on docks and around/on vessels.


Essential Skills:

Reading text, numeracy, legible writing, good oral communication


Work Conditions and Physical Capabilities:

Workplace awareness is essential as dockside observations take place in an industrial environment. Offload activities can be fast-paced, loud, wet, and highly active with industrial machinery such as water pumps, hydraulic cable lifts, and forklifts being used during offload activities. Long work hours can be expected.  Transport of sampling equipment and/or biological samples to and from offload sites may be required. Physical requirements may also include but are not limited to ascending/descending ladders, boarding fishing vessels, and working with loads between 20lbs to 40lbs.




To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume via email to Rachel Lee, Program Coordinator, leer[at], and Sylvia Chow, Program Manager, chows[at] Shortlisted candidates will be notified.