Just like most industries, fishing also has it’s own environmental impact, like the extinction of species, and the alteration of the ocean because of the changes inflicted on the ecosystem. The Canadian government has therefore enacted laws to regulate the fishing of certain species. This is where a conservation or wildlife officer comes in. They are there to enforce these laws.
What a wildlife or conservation officer typically does is to take care of marine life and wildlife, ensure they are not being violated and to investigate any reports of violation. They are to supervise and enforce laws, protect natural resources, educate the public, conduct investigations, gather and present evidence in court. These tasks can all be time consuming and very demanding, as most officers work on weekends and holidays, and also work in all types of weather. Sometimes they even have to travel for extended periods of time. So the misconception, that conservation officers spend their time hunting and fishing, is really far from the truth. But along having to deal with all these important tasks, there might be some time to enjoy the nature and wildlife once in awhile.
Some of the methods used by the conservation officers to enforce the law include:
- GPS tracking
- Internet monitoring
- Aerial and canine patrols
- Wildlife decoys
- Computer data analysis
This means that to become a conservation or wildlife officer, one must posses a college or university diploma/degree in natural resource management, excellent communication skills, intelligence gathering skills, proficiency in computer use, knowledge of hunting and fishing, the ability to work independently, meet the physical demands of the job, a valid driver’s licence, and be able to handle firearms.
Some of the risks officers may run into are being killed by hunters and armed fishermen, animal attacks, drowning, and hypothermia. However, the best way to start this career is to love the wildlife and outdoors, and be willing to work in remote locations.