FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA PHOTO An MPP hero class vessel

Mobile fishery officers patrol the coast

Marine Patrol fisheries program sends officers to remote places

For four years the Marine Patrol Program’s (MPP) fisheries officers have been out on the water patrolling remote areas on the coast to protect local fisheries.

Their office is the M.Charles, a hero class vessel that covers the entire South Coast of British Columbia monitoring commercial, recreational, and First Nations fisheries for compliance with Fisheries legislation.

“It’s a very efficient way to cover fisheries on the west coast because we can get into remote places,” said Field Supervisor Les Sanderson, adding that they recently “checked a boat right at the head of in Knights Inlet, which is kind of out of the way, and they really didn’t expect to see us out there.”

The vessel-based detachment is operated by the Canadian coast guard and holds a team of three Conservation and Protection, Fishery Officers.

The MPP operates year round typically travelling to areas that require more Fishery Officer presence assisting local conservation and protection detachments.

Sanderson said he thinks it’s important that the public is more aware of the MPP program.

“It is a shining example of the cooperative work happening between the Canadian Coast Guard and Conservation Protection to protect our coastal fisheries,” said Sanderson, adding “We also support Search and Rescue efforts on the coast and work jointly with other Regulatory Agencies such as the Canadian Border Service Agency.”

He said they are able to provide 24/7 coverage on the coast and can respond rapidly to fisheries violations.

“I think the biggest difference for us than a local detachment is that we are always out on the water,” said MPP officer David Clattenburg, adding “We eat, sleep, and live in the fishing grounds so we are always there and we are mobile so we can get to where land-based detachments can’t.”

Sanderson said another aspect of the program is “working on building relationships with Coastal First Nations and working with them to conserve and protect the fisheries resource.”

Clattenburg added that the name of their vessel is significant of that, as the M.Charles is named after Seaman Martin Charles, of Bamfield, British Columbia, and Hereditary Chief of the Nitinat Band who devoted his life and career to saving lives earning the Medal of Bravery for his role in search and rescue.

The MPP also monitors the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP) closures which are sites up and down the coast closed to shellfish harvest for public safety reasons.

“We will get into those areas and make sure they are properly marked with signs and make sure no one is harvesting there because it could make people sick,” said Sanderson, adding that it is important to verify that the area of harvest is open because eating contaminated shellfish can be life-threatening.

He also advises fishers to check fishery notices regularly to watching for in-season changes and if people have fisheries violations to report they can call the Observe, Record, Report line at 1-800-465-4336.

To check for fisheries closures click here, to check for contaminated shellfish sites click here.

Just Posted

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

North Island Eagles minor rep ockey organization hand out year-end awards in Port McNeill

It was quite the season and then some for minor rep hockey here in the North Island.

North Island resident to campaign on climate, economy for Liberal Party seat in Ottawa

Peter Schwarzhoff joins race for the second time in North Island-Powell River riding

Press release: Port Alice Health Centre service model announced

“a sustainable and dependable model of health care service delivery in Port Alice is a priority”

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read