Headquartered in Victoria since 1978, Archipelago Marine Research is a long-standing BC employer. Through additional offices at each of British Columbia’s busiest fishing ports, and its Asia Pacific subsidiary in Australia, Archipelago maintains a staff of 170+ industry professionals including biologists, at-sea observers, dockside monitors, technicians and more. Archipelago provides observer training (with full government certification) for at-sea and dockside monitoring staff, and maintains the highest standards for quality service and professional conduct.

At Archipelago, employees make a commitment to the company and to each other. Employees are expected to contribute to a positive workplace, exercise best efforts, and develop their careers within an atmosphere of cooperation and shared respect; in kind, Archipelago offers gainful employment in a safe, healthy, and respectful environment.


Archipelago posts new opportunities regularly. Check back frequently for the latest postings.

Fisheries Observers, Dockside - Port Hardy BC

Job Description

Archipelago Marine Research Ltd. is a world leader in the design and implementation of commercial fishery data collection systems.  We are a private company with a head office in Victoria, B.C. and three regional offices throughout coastal B.C.  Archipelago maintains a staff of 140+ employees, including biologists, technicians, administrative and information technology staff, and fisheries observers. Archipelago is seeking an organized and motivated individual to assist with the delivery of its groundfish dockside monitoring program in Port Hardy, BC.


  • Monitor and documenting the offload activities of groundfish commercial fishing vessels
  • Identification of all species landed.
  • Accurately recording offloaded weights into electronic data systems and on paper
  • Monitor compliance of fishery regulations
  • Biological sampling of selected species

Required Skills

  • Highly self-motivated with strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work flexible schedules including irregular hours, evenings and weekends
  • Ability to work independently, follow procedures, and meet strict timelines
  • Ability to identify commercially important marine species an asset
  • High school graduation as a minimum. Knowledge of the fishing industry is an asset.
  • Valid BC Drivers Licence with a reliable vehicle.
  • The job is physically demanding and candidates should be capable of lifting baskets of fish (25 – 50+ pounds) and climb ladders up to 25 feet to board fishing vessels.

Terms of Employment

  • Competitive wages starting at $16.77/hour with a guaranteed minimum 4-hour callout on all days worked.
  • Must obtain Fisheries Observer Certification through Fisheries and Oceans, Canada*. This required certification training is provided to successful candidates in our 2-week training course.
  • All successful candidates will need to provide a criminal record check to be certified as a Fisheries Observer as required by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
  • Full and part-time equivalent positions are available. The hours and work schedules are variable as they are governed by the landing times of the fishing vessels. 
  • The work is primarily in Port Hardy, but the ability to travel to other fish landing ports is desirable.


*      Fisheries Act and Fisheries (General) Regulations state that a person who owns, operates, manages, or is an employee of an enterprise that catches, cultures, processes or transports fish can not be certified as a Fisheries Observer.


TO APPLY: Please email a PDF of your resume to

Application Deadline:  Open until suitable candidates are found

Note: Interviews may be conducted throughout the posting period and the position may be filled prior to the closing date.  An eligibility list may be established.


AT SEA FISHERIES OBSERVERS - Coastal British Columbia


Archipelago Marine Research Ltd. is now seeking hard working, enthusiastic people to work at sea as Fisheries Observers. While this is a year round employment opportunity, work levels are seasonal. The position requires working and living aboard vessels conducting fishing operations in British Columbia waters. Fisheries Observer duties include: documenting catch size and composition, verifying fishing locations, collecting biological samples, monitoring compliance to fishery regulations, and describing fishing and processing techniques within a comprehensive trip report.


Vessels range in length from 40 feet to over 100 feet. Working conditions on deck are typically wet and can be cold. The job may involve heavy lifting. Many of the vessels operate with three or four crew members. The Observer will be assigned a bunk in the crew’s quarters, which are usually cramped and may be co-ed.


Applicants will be screened and interviewed through a competitive process. Successful applicants must then participate in and complete a three-week certification-training course.

Employment can only be offered to those who complete this training with a passing grade. Out-of-town trainees will be provided with accommodation if required. Upon successful completion of the course, applicants’ names will be forwarded to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for screening and final certification.

All successful applicants will be required to consent to a Criminal Record Check being performed by the

Commissionaires during the first week of training.

Note that the Fisheries Act and Fisheries (General) Regulations state that a person who owns, operates, manages, or is an employee of an enterprise that catches, cultures, processes or transports fish cannot be certified as a Fisheries Observer.


Observers are deployed from a number of ports in BC. Deployment periods average 24 days in length with each deployment period being made up of individual vessel assignments that average six days. Some assignments may extend to over 30 days. Between assignments Observers are on active status and are expected to be available within the deployment port. During these active-status days, Observers have the use of a staff house.


Observing represents a great opportunity for students and recent graduates to expand their knowledge of fisheries management while travelling coast wide. Former observers have gone on to work with the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and as registered professional biologists.


▪ Documenting all fishing activity, including catch size and composition
▪ Verifying fishing locations
▪ Collecting biological samples including otoliths and hatchery-reared salmon
▪ Monitoring compliance to fishery regulations
▪ Describing fishing and processing techniques in comprehensive trip reports
▪ Occasional reporting of sightings to the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network


Successful applicants must have:

  • Experience working at sea and a lack of susceptibility to motion sickness
  • Completed at least one year of post-secondary education in a related discipline — current students and recent graduates majoring in marine biology, resource management, fisheries and aquaculture, environmental science, and environmental technology comprise the majority of our field staff
  • Experience accurately recording data (at sea preferred)
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent math skills
  • A demonstrated ability to work long hours under adverse conditions and without supervision
  • A VHF Marine “Restricted Operator’s Certificate (Maritime)” — Arrangements can be made to obtain this certification during the three-week training program
  • Canadian citizenship or permanent resident/landed immigrant status
  • Ability to travel freely to and from the USA
  • No employment or ownership stake in a commercial fishing or processing operation
  • The ability to provide a criminal record check by the end of week one of training


Note: Applicants living outside of British Columbia or in the BC Interior must be willing to relocate to Coastal BC — i.e. the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island or the Prince Rupert region.

In addition to these qualifications, applicants should have knowledge of marine fish identification and the commercial fishing industry and have some experience working at sea. Preference will be given to those applicants who meet all of these requirements.


▪     Wages range from $172.13 to $236.69 per day while working at sea. Archipelago offers a competitive compensation package.


Download and fill out a PDF application form – At Sea Observer Online Application Form_ May 2018

Submit your completed application form, a PDF copy of your resume, and a handwritten cover letter by email to, or print it and fax it to 250-383-0103.

NOTE: After completing your application form, save it as “Archipelago_AtSea_FirstnameLastname”

Email is preferred, but a hardcopy application package can be mailed to:

Archipelago Marine Research Ltd.
525 Head Street
Victoria, BC, V9A 5S1

At-sea Fisheries Observers (Coastal BC)

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Open until suitable candidates are found

Join Archipelago

Recruitment agencies:  Please note that Archipelago does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies. From time to time, Archipelago works with a limited number of recruitment agencies to assist with sourcing candidates for specific positions; however, the company only works with recruitment agencies that have signed a written service agreement with Archipelago. Any third-party recruitment agency submitting candidates without an agreement in place will not be eligible to receive any fee, and Archipelago will consider any candidate application submitted without an agreement in place to be the property of Archipelago Marine Research.