VICTORIA - The search for two missing crab fishermen off the west coast of Vancouver Island has been scaled back after no trace of the men has been found.

They set out Friday from Port Renfrew but weren't reported missing until early Sunday morning.

Lt. Greg Menzies with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre says crews in a Buffalo search aircraft and a Cormorant helicopter looked for the men from the air, while several vessels, including a Canadian Coast Guard ship, scoured the water.

Menzies says a significant amount of time has passed since the men were reported missing, and based on drift patterns and the large size of the area the call was made to reduce the search.

The investigation has now been handed over to the Sooke RCMP.

The names of the men haven't released.