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Fishery officers
for a day

This summer, four young people enrolled at elementary schools in Pabos and Caplan had the chance to become fishery officers for a day. They were chosen by means of a draw from amongst all the students who took part in the conservation and protection school program.

For an entire day, they assisted two Grande-Rivière fishery officers as they went about their patrols on land and at sea. The young people had the opportunity to visit port and fishing facilities, and to accompany the officers when they met with fishers.  

This activity, highly enriching for the young participants, was made possible through the conservation and protection school program. The purpose of this program is to inform Grade 6 students about the work of fishery officers and raise their awareness about the protection of marine resources and fish habitat.

On the left, Officer Pierre Gagnon with Thomas, and right, Officer Colette Major with Claudia (École Cap Beau-Soleil, Caplan)
On the left, Officer Pierre Gagnon with Thomas, and right, Officer Colette Major with Claudia (École Cap Beau-Soleil, Caplan)
On the left, Officer Pierre Gagnon with Benjamin, and right, Officer Colette Major with Gabriel (École Saint-Paul, Pabos)
On the left, Officer Pierre Gagnon with Benjamin, and right, Officer Colette Major with Gabriel (École Saint-Paul, Pabos)

Whale rescueWhale
A sperm whale on the North Shore

Last June, a sperm whale which had become entangled in fishing gear in Baie de Sept-Îles was released from its bonds. The marine mammal, some fifteen metres in length and weighing about 40 tonnes was unable to move. It had become entangled in the lines connecting a crab pot to a buoy. After several hours of work, residents and Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers finally managed to free the animal. The cetacean immediately swam away offshore, but some ropes remained attached to its body; it was unfortunately found dead a few days later.  

A minke whale in Gaspé Peninsula waters

A week earlier fishery officers took part in the rescue of a minke whale in the Grande-Rivière area. The whale was trapped by a lobster pot line and was only able to keep its head out of the water. It took two hours of hard work to free the cetacean.

Fishery officers Clément Beaudoin, Kent Chrétien, Daniel Dickner, Alain Fortin, Ken Jenniss, Colette Major and Mario Moreau took part in these no-less-than-perilous rescue missions. Most Fisheries and Oceans Canada officers in the Quebec region have taken a rescue training session organized by specialists at the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) to learn how to intervene rapidly when whales become tangled in fishing gear. These officers deserve our congratulations for their efforts to help these large marine mammals in trouble.

Martial Ménard
Policy and Economics Branch

Contribution to the St. Lawrence
Water Trail

The Regional Small Craft Harbours Branch was very pleased to receive a Certificate of Recognition from the Fédération québécoise du canot et du kayak last May. This certificate salutes the contribution of Fisheries and Oceans Canada – in collaboration with local harbour authorities – to efforts to make its facilities accessible to the general public and to people using the St. Lawrence Water Trail.

The Department has been involved in developing this trail and its various “blue roads” for several years. In addition to opening access to some of its facilities, Department experts provide counsel on the good practices to adopt when observing marine mammals while out on the water, on fish habitat protection, and on sensitive habitats, particularly the ones used by aquatic species at risk. They also provide useful information about mapping and marine safety. In fact, this information was used to prepare 78 charts covering the sections of the trail currently open to users and to prepare an awareness-raising program. 

The Water Trail is a waterway that has been charted but not marked that can be used by small, low-draft watercraft, particularly sea kayaks. It is also a network of rest areas, campgrounds, boat launching ramps and establishments providing food and lodging. The goal of this initiative is first and foremost to make the majestic St. Lawrence accessible to the public, while raising the awareness of users about the impacts their activities have on the environment and encouraging them to adopt safe practices on the water.

The trail now has four operational “blue roads” with two others under development; together they represent some 1,800 km of navigable trails.

If you’re curious, check out the St. Lawrence Water Trail Web site

Lyne Beaumont
Small Craft Harbours

Jobs at the
Canadian Coast Guard

The Canadian Coast Guard offers some interesting career opportunities.

Here are just a few of them:
- Electronics technician
- Engine room rating
- Deckhand / Helms (man/woman)
- Marine communications and traffic services officer
- Marine engineer
- Navigation officer

For more information:
1-866-660-6948 (toll free)