Paddle Your Own C'apac

Fisheries Science

Fisheries Science

Are you curious by nature? Do you want make new discoveries and expand our knowledge? If most of the following statements apply to you, you might be ready for a job in fisheries science.


People working in fisheries science explore a variety of subjects, from counting fish and studying life cycles, to investigating what affects oceans and streams. Work may involve boating, fishing, computers, SCUBA diving, working in a lab, managing others, teaching, and travelling. Government agencies, First Nations and tribal councils, and private companies (like environmental consulting firms) hire workers in fisheries and oceans science. Some scientists work in universities and colleges where they do research and teach students. Others make a career out of researching alone. Ongoing education is important in fisheries science if you want to advance beyond the technician level.


Research assistants are often university students working towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Fisheries technicians usually have a bachelor’s degree in marine science or a technical diploma in a related field.

Research and fisheries biologists usually have a bachelor’s degree in marine biology or ecology.

Research scientists usually have a master’s or doctoral degree from a university with a specialty in biology, oceanography, or zoology.


Research assistants are often students who earn between $7,000 and $10,000 working seasonally. They may also get free room and board.

Fisheries technicians earn between $33,000 and $60,000 per year.

Research biologists working for the government or institutions earn between $46,000 and $85,000.

Fisheries biologists working for our tribal council earn between $56,000 and $67,000 per year.

Research scientists earn between $53,000 and $115,000 per year.




Did You Know?

Haahuupču is the Nuu-chah-nulth word for “learned teachings.”


Uu-a-thluk biologist Katie beach assists wiht a necropsy on the sperm whale that washed up on a Hesquiaht beach. The Kyuquot/Checleset restoration crew, clockwise from left: Henry Jack, Derek Hansen, Danny Short, Len John. Centre: Project Biologist Rupert Wong. Lingcod have long been an important winter food source for Nuu-chah-nulth Nations. Photo courtesy of Rick Harbo. Halibut caught by longline in commercial groundfish fishery. Students put streamkeeping skills into play at the mouth of Ahataapq Creek near Hotsprings Cove. Sunset Rock Fish UFN Fisheries Manager Tad Williams hams it up during the Ucluelet Harbour crab study for toxicology. Henry Jack measures one section of the sidechannel in October of 2007. Sabrina Halvorsen operates a rotary fyke trap during the summer of 2006. Row Tla-o-qui-aht intern Brendan Tom takes part in a species-at-risk survey. Intern Sabrina Halvorsen takes part in a crab survey during the summer of 2008. Interns Allison Gallic and Sabrina Halvorsen take part in a sea otter survey during the summer of 2008. Juvenile wild salmon is inspected during a sea lice survey. Fisheries technician training program. Photo from Jim Lane.