A Department of Fisheries and Oceans boat. The department has delayed resumption of the At-Sea Observer Program for groundfish trawl Option A vessels over health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans boat. The department has delayed resumption of the At-Sea Observer Program for groundfish trawl Option A vessels over health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

Resumption of At-Sea Observer Prgrogram delayed

Emergency Electronic Monitoring Program still in place for groundfish trawl Option A vessels

Resumption of the groundfish trawl At-Sea Observer Program (ASOP) has been delayed to allow for refinements of safe-work procedures and preexisting concerns from the Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee over the Emergency Electronic Monitoring (EM).

ASOP for Option A vessels was suspended April 2 due to COVID-19 health concerns on crowded boats. Following two conditional resumptions of the program, DFO consulted with stakeholders and harvesters to help determine full services could be phased in beginning Sept. 23, with adherence to Provincial Health Authority guidelines.

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

A new start date has not yet been announced, but DFO is expected to release further information Sept. 30.

“[DFO] will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and take additional actions as may be required,” reads the fisheries notice. “Comprehensive, independent catch monitoring is an essential component of sustainable fishing practices, and DFO remains committed to reinstating the ASOP, as long as it is safe to do so.”

At-sea observers are responsible for the on-board monitoring of fishing activities, collecting scientific data, and monitoring industry compliance with fishing regulations and licence conditions.

In place of the program, the emergency EM pilot program will continue to be in place for all Option A vessels.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

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

Just Posted

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

(Corrado Colombo photo)
Corrado Colombo, with his wife, Lucy. Colombo is from Italy, but met Kitimat born-and-raised Lucy on one of his annual fishing trips to Kitimat in the early 2000s.
In Our Valley: Corrado Colombo

Corrado Colombo never expected that an annual fishing trip to Kitimat would change his life

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

CityWest internet and other services are down in Kitimat as of Wednesday (Nov. 25) evening. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Services down for CityWest users in Kitimat

Services were put out due to a landslide cutting a fibre line

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism ‘widespread’

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Pellet plants deal with a lot of combustible materials. (File photo)
“Fire-related event” at Houston pellet plant injures three, shuts down operations

Rumours of an associated explosion cannot be confirmed at this time

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

Most Read