Purpose of Fisheries Observers

The Fisheries Observer Program provides a precise and accurate method of collecting reliable data on which sound management decisions can be based. The Canadian Fisheries Observer Program is internationally recognized for its high standard of quality in the provision of unbiased data and monitoring of commercial fishing activity.


Specific Duties of Canadian Fisheries Observers

The role of the Canadian Fisheries Observer is to observe, record and report on the activities of fishing vessels. They are tasked with the collection of biological fisheries data and to monitor compliance to fisheries regulations. Observers perform the following duties:


  • Record information on fishing effort and location
  • Estimate and record the catch weight
  • Sample catches to determine species composition
  • Collect biological data (length measurements & sex ratios)
  • Collect fish and samples for return to shore
  • Verify fishing gear measurements and configuration
  • Monitor fishing activity for compliance to regulations
  • Record incidentally captured marine mammals, turtles & seabirds
  • Keep a detailed record of vessel activities
  • Complete post-cruise debriefing

...Observer Qualifications