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VIDEO: Department of Fisheries and Oceans shows off new surveillance plane in Campbell River

The Dash-8 aircraft has longer range and newer technology than predecessor

Poachers beware! The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a new tool, and they will be using it to preserve the marine ecosystems of the beautiful B.C. coast.

The new Fisheries Aerial Surveillance and Enforcement Dash-8 plane arrived at its new home at the Campbell River Airport on July 21, and has been flying almost every day since.

The Beechcraft Super King Air plane which served the purpose beforehand is being replaced by a larger craft with top-of-the-line radar, photo, and video technology.

Local detachment commander Joe Knight said the old plane could fly for about four hours in a row.

“This thing can go for eight-to-nine hours in the air,” he said, “So it gives us a way bigger range on the coat. We can go way off shore, and don’t have to refuel.”

Knight, only half joking, noted how pleased some of the fishery officers were about the new plane having a washroom.

“The flyers really appreciate that a lot,” he said. “It’s just a lot more comfortable plane with a bigger range and capacity to more.

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Acting Regional Director Nicole Gallant was excited to speak about the Dash-8.

“It will help make sure that our fisheries management measures and the Fisheries Act and regulations are being adhered to,” she said.

“This is going to help us to protect the resource, and make sure that species like salmon, Southern Resident killer whales… and other species are being protected. It’s a critical role that fishery officers play, and this plane will be one of the tools that we will be adding to our fleet.”

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