Registration opens 8:30 AM Tuesday, March 5th, 2024.

Deadline to register is 4:30 PM, March 12th, 2024. 

DFO is seeking experienced commercial spring herring Captains to participate in spring herring experimental net project using 5 commercial style nets each and possibly a variable mesh panel testnet in selected regions.  The PEIFA are interested in participating in the project and are now seeking 1 Captain in Region 4 (Cap-Pelé, Cape Jourimain and PEI, South Side) and 2 Captains in Region 5 (PEI, North side) to submit as qualified Captains for the 2024 project.  DFO qualifications include that each participating captain provide proof of commercial landings from at least three (3) full spring fishing seasons in the spring herring commercial fishery in the region in the past 20 years.  Proof of updated marine insurance and worker’s compensation insurance are also required. 

DFO is seeking experienced spring herring Captains to provide data collection for spring herring using commercial spring herring gillnets and possibly variable mesh test nets in the areas outlined in the map (see below). This work is pending successful Procurement selection and DFO approval.

In terms of payment, there will be an all-inclusive price per overnight set of five (5) nets per fisher. Final payment to be determined but will include the hiring of fishing vessels and all operating costs, the hire of captains and crew required to complete the work, the cost to arrange and pay for dockside monitoring and the provision of gillnets and all repairs. Captains will be able to retain herring caught except for a subsample which will be taken for further analysis by DFO.

The gillnet samples would be completed during the weeks in the period in which the commercial spring herring fishery would usually operates.  The number of samples/trips is to be determined, but commercial nets will be fished one (1) night per week with the potential for up to four (4) consecutive weeks. The DFO scientist in charge will determine the exact dates. The first week of net sets can be expected after ice out.



· Vessel Captains must have held a valid spring herring gillnet license in 2020 or 2021 and must have experience in the herring fishery noted above (proof of commercial landings from at least three (3) full spring fishing seasons in the spring herring commercial fishery in the region in the past 20 years)

· The commercial gillnets would be provided by the Captain and must align with the following net details:  2 ¼” (57.1mm) min / 125 meshes max / 150 fathom

· Commercial nets must be set where a fisher would set their commercial fishing nets and will be left in place overnight following the same method and for the same duration that commercial fishers would use for their spring commercial nets. The nets must be set as stand-alone nets and not attached to the vessel or other types of nets.

· The nets must be equipped with a temperature logger to collect environmental information about conditions on the fishing grounds. The temperature logger provided and installed by DFO must remain on one of the nets during the fishing of the nets.

· The fisher will record the exact times the net was set and lifted in the provided logbook.

·  Both fishers in the same area/region must set their nets on the same night to ensure proper sampling of fish.

· The captain will call the wharf sampler on the evening that the nets are fished to inform them that samples will need to be taken on the wharf the following day.

· The catch from all nets will be weighed by DMP upon arrival at the wharf.

· The captain will fill out a logbook with the estimated catch, the geographic location where they fished the nets, and the exact times the net was set and lifted.

·  If more Captains apply then needed, a draw of Captains will take place following the deadline.


Successful Captains will need to submit the following to comply with the DFO contract:

o   Up-to-date marine insurance paperwork.

o   Insurance coverage must include crew liability if it is not covered by Worker’s Compensation.

o   Copy of their recent (2020 and 2021) commercial spring herring fishing license

o   Must provide a brief description of their experience fishing in the spring commercial herring fishery. The description must explicitly state the dates in which the experience was gained (i.e., month/fishing season & year), the area of work, and the proposed resource(s) roles and responsibilities.

o   The captain must provide pictures of the exterior of the vessel.


Interested individuals looking for more information can contact Laura Ramsay (902-393-2281),  or Jennifer Dewland (902-330-3580),