SUMMER 2023 CO-OP: Summer Technician

  • Location: Eastern Cape Breton
  • Deadline: March 1, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Summer Technician – Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association

The Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (CBFHA) works with local fishermen in Eastern Cape Breton (Lobster fishing Area 27) to conduct research on the lobster fishery. We work directly with lobster harvesters from Bay St. Lawrence to Gabarus, monitoring the health and sustainability of our stock as well by-catch. In addition to work in the lobster industry, we conduct Ghost-Gear Retrievals, use Remote Operated Vehicle, and collect environmental DNA (eDNA).

For more information on the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association and its work please visit

For the 2023 season, the CBFHA intends to conduct the following biological research:

  • At-sea sampling of lobster and incidental catches: the student will spend the lobster season (May 15-July 15) at-sea sampling by recording the following information: measuring the carapace of lobster, sexing the lobster, determining the berried female egg stages, and the overall condition of the lobster. Plus, recording information on other species caught in traps from incidental catch. After the lobster season, data collected is entered into the database.
  • Larval tows: The technician will be working with a fish harvester to tow a larval net, count and stage lobster larvae and note other species. This sampling will occur in July and August, after the fishing season.
  • Post-Season sampling: Several traps will be set in a few locations to monitor protein and shell hardness in lobsters after the fishing season.
  • Ghost Gear: July and August there will be retrievals of ghost gear in LFA 27 from the lobster season. Technicians will go on-board vessels and find gear with the naked eye, grapple, and an ROV
  • Industry Promotion: Students are encouraged to submit posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the Association’s work and our inshore fishing industry.
  • Other Projects: Depending on the need and workload, students may work on other projects, including behaviour video analysis, fish dissection, gear testing, data entry, etc.

Summer Technician wages are $17.00 per hour for 40 hours a week. As well as 40 cents per km when travelling to wharves. CBFHA will be hiring 3 technicians, 2 will be around the North Sydney Area and 1 in the Cape Breton Highlands. Technicians are responsible for finding their own accommodations, but CBFHA will help in the looking process.

Job Description:

The Summer Technician’s primary responsibility will be an at-sea sampling of the lobster fishery during the fishing season. Protein sampling and larval tows will take place with increasing efforts after the lobster season. Post-season work is primarily data entry and correction. These and additional tasks may be delegated by senior staff and will minimally include the following:

  • Lobster sampling at sea which includes measuring carapace length, determining sex, and marking observations on lobster health, maturity and presence of eggs. Identification of by-catch and incidental catch will also be recorded (training provided).
  • Participate in lobster larvae tows – stage and count larvae and other observations (meteorological and other species caught).
  • Maintain scientific equipment in good working order (GPS, refractometer, thermometer, callipers, plankton net, microscope and camera).
  • On-shore work includes entering data into databases and some data analysis using Excel.


Training will be provided for specific tasks; however, the following qualifications and requirements are essential:

  • Must be available from May 8th – Aug 25th with some flexibility upon hire.
  • Must be willing to go out on fishing boats in varied conditions
  • Must be outgoing and look forward to meeting new people every day.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Shows initiative, is self-motivated and able to work independently.
  • Experience using databases/spreadsheets, in particular Excel.
  • Able to keep accurate and detailed documentation of work.
  • Basic knowledge of crustacean and fish biology.
  • Knowledge or experience in sampling procedures.
  • Familiarity with fisheries research and the fishing industry and experience at sea are an asset.

Work-Term Outcomes:

This is a great opportunity for biology/marine biology students to gain the following experience:

  • Field work: collecting fisheries data at sea on a working fishing boat and collecting data in various ports.
  • Data entry and analysis: Entering data into government and private databases and analyzing data.
  • Gain experience in research which would contribute towards the management of a natural resource.
  • Exposure to participatory research, the fishing industry and how research can improve management measures in fisheries.
  • Knowledge of the fishing industry, crustacean biology and resource management
  • Independent work with minimal supervision while collaborating and communicating with industry workers.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and manage time, travel and resources
    Expand knowledge of lobsters and other species of benthic animals as well as planktonic stages and species.


This opportunity is for students enrolled in a co-op program.

Applicates that are interested in applying can email

Deadline for this opportunity is on March 1st, 2023