people smiling while wearing a PFD on a fishing boat

We can’t anticipate what training requirements may arise in the future so it’s in your best interest to be prepared and register with the board. Fish harvesters may want to take advantage of non-regulatory training programs as well which can have a positive effect on improving knowledge and awareness in the industry.

There is a real need for fish harvesters to consider the future and the recruitment of new participants  to the fishery. They will need training. Providing training will generate a larger pool of trained crew members and potential new entrant licence buyers.

All registered fish harvesters are eligible for a training subsidy. As part of the application process it will be determined what training is needed by individual fish harvesters. This information will be used to develop a training plan for the industry in Nova Scotia and training will be delivered on a first come first serve basis, and would be scheduled based on fishing seasons.

The board will support regulatory (ie Transport Canada) and non –regulatory training as requested by fish harvesters.

The board will support fish harvesters to obtain the necessary training required for their fleet sector and size of vessel they are on. These training requirements are outlined in the Marine Personnel Regulations as issued by Transport Canada.  The board’s role is to help fish harvesters comply with the requirements and promote the necessary training. These training certificates issued by Transport Canada are incorporated into the certification levels.

Yes – the classifications that DFO gives to licence holders will still remain the same.

If a fish harvester wanted to move to a higher level of certification, he or she must complete the below steps:

Step 1 – registrant makes application to move higher.

Step 2 – applicant documents previous training and sea time.

Step 3 – registrar assesses application to determine if higher classification warranted.

An appeal process will be available if necessary.

Fish harvesters will be certified at one of three levels: Certified Professional Fish Harvester – Licence Holder (L) and Non – Licence Holder (NL), Professional Fish Harvester – Licence Holder (L) and Non-Licence Holder (NL) and Apprentice. A full outline of the criteria in each of the certification levels is included in the governance policy of the board.

Stage 1 – Those Registered with FHRCBNS will be sent an information collection form that will permit the initial certification assessment.  This will capture years of service and/or training previously obtained.

Stage 2 – Complete the assessment – Each returned form will be reviewed to ensure: certificate #s, date of issue and date of expiry are all provided. At this point certification can be offered on an honour basis.

Stage 3 – Offer a service of centralized storage for all certificates. This will represent a Verified Certification status. It would also be possible to provide proof of certification to 3rd parties (DFO and other government agencies) if interested.

After registration is received, the fish harvester will be entered into the system and assessed at one of the three levels of certification. It will be determined what level a fish harvester is by his/her past experience and training. Existing industry will be grandfathered and new entrants come in as Apprentices.

Registrants will be provided with three options. They will include paper based by mail, online and in person at the community level with COVID-19 protocols in place. During the initial registration, a letter will be sent to all holders of Personal Fishing Registrations (PFR) providing the option to be exempt from DFO registration. A registration form will also be enclosed within the envelope. Individuals will be required to renew their registration each year via mail/online/in person. A renewal form must be completed and submitted with any annual payment.