Career as a Fishery Officer

Wanna be a Fishery Officer?

Would you enjoy boat and aircraft patrols to observe fisheries and fish habitat? Would you like investigating fisheries and habitat offences?  How about meeting with fish harvesters, industry leaders and the public to promote compliance and conservation - to help ensure the sustainable use of our resources for current and future generations? Then, we may have a job for you!

What do they do?

Fishery officers are Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) front-line link to fish harvesters and the public. Ultimately, their goal is the conservation and protection of Canada’s freshwater and marine fisheries resources and habitat.

Fishery officers participate in planning, managing and controlling Canada’s fisheries. They promote compliance and conservation through public communication and education. They carry out surveillance of domestic and foreign fishing activities and fish habitat by land, sea and air. They collect evidence of illegal activity during routine patrols and special investigations, and participate in court prosecutions. Fishery officers also work with the public and other officials to develop new measures to manage and protect fish and fish habitat. Every day can bring a different challenge.

How do I become a Fishery Officer?

You must successfully complete two years of post-secondary education in a field related to the duties of a fishery officer, or possess an acceptable combination of related education, training and/or experience.

You must also have relevant experience in a related area such as natural resources or habitat management, enforcement, or the fishing industry.

Fishery officers are recruited to the Fishery Officer Career Progression Program (FOCPP) as cadets. The first 17 weeks involve formal instruction including an orientation to DFO and the Fishery Officer Enforcement course. Cadets learn about fisheries in Canada and the roles of a fishery officer. They also learn communications skills, how to apply acts and regulations, how to use force in their duties, and about the Canadian legal system. They then begin 30 months of on-the-job field training with experienced officers to fully develop their skills and knowledge. 

For further information on fishery officer requirements, training programs and other information, please visit the Fishery Officer Career Progression Internet site.

Openings for jobs with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) are advertised through the Public Service Commission (PSC) website.

Spotlight on... Lloyd Slaney is a fishery officer in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region. He is currently the Conservation and Protection Supervisor of the Placentia Detachment Office and says he enjoys his work because it offers him a diversified career experiences.

“I love working in the field setting because of the variety of fisheries we have to monitor and the resulting challenges that we face every day.”

“I feel the work I do is important; my role as a fishery officer allows me to make a difference to the fisheries resources that I have sworn to protect and to the communities which are dependent upon these resources,” says Slaney

Published By:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada 
Communications Branch
P.O.Box 5667
St. John’s, NL  A1C 5X1

© Her Majesty the Queen
Right of Canada
DFO/2008-1447
Catalogue Number: Fs154-7/24-2008
ISBN: 978-0-662-05654-6