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About Us

Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis

A Division of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center

Our Location

The Field Operations Program is based in Anchorage with staff also located at the major fishing ports of Dutch Harbor and Kodiak.

What We Do

The Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division (FMA) monitors groundfish and halibut fishing activities in the Federal fisheries off Alaska and conducts research associated with sampling commercial fishery catches, estimation of catch and bycatch mortality, and analysis of fishery-dependent data. The Division is responsible for training, briefing, debriefing, and oversight of observers who collect catch data onboard fishing vessels and at onshore processing plants and for quality control/quality assurance of the data provided by these observers. Division staff process data and make it available to the Sustainable Fisheries Division of the Alaska Regional Office for quota monitoring and to scientists in other AFSC divisions for stock assessment, ecosystem investigations, and an array of research investigations.

North Pacific Observer Program

The Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division (FMA) administers the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program) which plays a vital role in the conservation and management of the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska groundfish and halibut fisheries. The program trains, briefs, debriefs, and oversees over 450 observers annually who collect catch data onboard fishing vessels and at onshore processing plants that is used for in-season management and scientific purposes such as stock assessments and ecosystem studies. The program ensures that the data collected by observers are of the highest  quality possible by implementing rigorous quality control and quality assurance processes for the data collected by observers.

Our Leadership

Jennifer Ferdinand

Division Director, Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division

Jennifer Ferdinand became the Director of the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division in December 2017. Jenn first joined NOAA in 1998 after experiencing the intersection of science and management first hand as a fisheries observer in the groundfish and crab fisheries. After 10 years with the Fisheries and Monitoring Division as a debriefer, observer training, and Program Manager, she moved into the position of Planning Officer where she was integral to developing and implementing the Center's strategic planning process.

Lisa Thompson

Deputy Director, Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division

Lisa Thompson is the Deputy Director of the Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis (FMA) Division at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center which runs the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program. Lisa has served aboard the NOAA ship Oregon II, worked as a North Pacific groundfish observer and in 2007 was promoted to Supervisor of the Observer Debriefing Services Team. Lisa obtained her COR Level III certificate and for past several years has been managing contracts and budgets for the Division.