FILE - A Department of Fisheries and Oceans boat. On Thursday, April 2, 2020, due to COVID-19, a Fisheries Management Order was signed to lift existing at-sea observer requirements on fishing vessels. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced on Friday that all fishing activities authorized under the Fisheries Act must be carried out without any at-sea observers being onboard vessels.

The Fisheries Management Order took effect on April 2 and will remain in place for 45 days “due to the current exceptional circumstances associated with the emergence of the COVD-19 virus.”

A notice from DFO said the at-sea observer requirements, which include placing certified observers onboard fishing vessels to monitor fishing activities, collect scientific data, and monitor industry compliance with fishing regulations and licence conditions, currently pose a threat to the proper management and control of fisheries.

ALSO READ: New way to report possible fishing violations to DFO

“The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a Fisheries Management Order (FMO 2020-01) under section 9.1 of the Fisheries Act to lift the existing at-sea observer requirements imposed under existing licences to fish, which create a human health risk for at-sea observers and fishers and constitute a public human health risk,” the notice said.

“Fisheries Management Order 2020-01 prevails over any regulations made under the Fisheries Act, any orders issued under those regulations and over any conditions of any lease or licence issued under that act.”

ALSO READ: Young B.C. fishers instigate study on West Coast licence, quota system

Responding to the order on Monday, the communications manager for DFO-designated At-Sea Observer Program service provider Ecotrust Canada said the charity would be discussing alternative solutions with DFO.

“We recognize that the health and safety of human observers and fish harvesters is key at this time,” Shannon Lough said, “and we’ll be working with our fisheries partners and DFO to discuss alternative solutions.”

Black Press Media has reached out to DFO for comment.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusDFO

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Brucejack mine fatality identified

Patrick Critch was from Newfoundland

SD54 and SD91 figuring out a back to school plan

B.C. government hopes to get students back to in-person classes

Granisle receives $4.3 million funding for Wastewater Treatment plant upgrade

The village will finally get to upgrade the 49 years old plant

Provincial grant boosted District projects

The 2019 annual report released

RDBN suspends carboard ban at Knockholt landfill

Reuse-shed in RDBN continues to remain closed

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read