BSc CO-OP ONLY – Lobster Technician, Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association – Baddeck


The Organization
The Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association (CBFHA) works with local fishermen within LFA 27 to conduct
research on the lobster fishery. LFA27, or Lobster Fishing Area 27, covers the area from Bay St. Lawrence to
Gabarus in Eastern Cape Breton. We monitor the health of our stock, and work directly with lobster harvesters in
this research. For more information on the Cape Breton Fish Harvesters Association and its work please visit

For the 2018 season, the CBFHA intends on conducting the following biological research:

  1. At-sea sampling of lobster and incidental catches: the hired student will spend the fishing day at sea
    measuring and sexing lobster and identifying and measuring other species caught in the traps. This work
    will be completed during the LFA27 lobster season (Mid-May to Mid-July). Data are to be entered into 2
    databases throughout the work term.
  2. Protein Sampling and molt staging: will be conducted on regular intervals at different ports. During this
    sampling, fluid will be extracted from the tail of a lobster and inserted onto a refractometer and a piece of
    pleopod is snipped from the lobster and examined under the microscope.
  3. Larval tows: The student will be working with one fisherman 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.
  4. Post Season sampling: Several traps will be set in a few locations to monitor protein and shell hardness
    in lobster after the fishing season.
  5. Industry Promotion: Students are encouraged submit posts to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to
    promote the Association’s work and our inshore fishing industry

Qualifications/Job Requirements

Training will be provided for most of the specific work however the following qualifications and requirements are

  • Must be willing to go out on fishing boats.
  • Must be outgoing and look forward to meeting new people every day.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Initiative and motivated.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Organized.
  • 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


Job Description

The Lobster Technician’s primary responsibility will be implementing various components of the CBFHA
Research Strategy, namely at-sea sampling and lobster protein sampling in port during the lobster season and
larval tows, post season sampling and data entry after the lobster season. The Technician will perform the
following duties under the direction of the executive director, Veronika Brzeski:

  • Participate in at-sea sampling programs for lobster under the direction of the project manager. The sampling
    programs will include the accurate completion of data sheets regarding the observed catch.
  • Lobster sampling at sea will include measuring carapace length, determining sex, and taking observations on
    lobster health, maturity and presence of eggs. Identification of by-catch and incidental catch will also be
    recorded (Training provided).
  • Lobster Quality sampling (protein sampling and moult staging) in port will include extracting fluid from the
    lobster, using a refractometer, snipping pleopods and examining under the microscope (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, calipers, plankton
    net, microscope and camera).
  • On-shore work includes entering data into databases and some data analysis using Excel.
  • Other duties as assigned by the executive director

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 port.
  • Data entry and analysis: Entering data into government and university databases and analyzing data.
  • Gain experience in research which would contribute towards 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
  • 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

Application Details

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to

To learn more about the co-op option please contact Carly Turnbull:

Financial Details:

Wages: $15.00/hr at a minimum 37.5 hours/week (more hours are possible contingent on funding)
Work Term : May 7 to August 31 (overall 16 weeks with some flexibility)
Mileage : 40 cents per km for travel to ports throughout the area
Benefits: EI, CPP, vacation pay and Workers’ Compensation.
Accommodations: Assistance will be provided to find suitable accommodations paid by the student.
Please note : Data use for student’s projects is encouraged.