On June 17, 2021, NOAA Fisheries announced this updated policy on vessel waivers for observer and at-sea monitor coverage related to COVID-19. Close to 80% of our Northeast observer cadre is fully vaccinated, so we have moved to Phase 3 of the observer redeployment.
Please reach out to Fishery Monitory Operations staff if you have any questions.
Bridget Harner - Mid-Atlantic operations specialist; (508) 274-4859
Kristina Thorpe - Northeast operations specialist; (508) 566-5988
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Have observers received COVID-19 vaccinations?
A: Yes, more than 80% of the observer cadre is fully vaccinated.
Q: Are observers required to show proof of vaccination?
A: No, they are not required by NOAA to be vaccinated or to show proof of vaccination.
Q: Are fishermen required to get vaccinated?
A: No, fishermen are not required to get a vaccination.
Q: My insurance company has notified me of changes to their COVID-19 liability policies, does this exempt me from observer coverage?
A: Insurance exclusion letters do not waive you from observer coverage requirements. Contact your insurance agent to gather more information.
Q: I haven’t taken an observer in more than a year, and some of my safety equipment is expired. Who do I contact?
A: You can contact the USCG safety examiner in your area USCG Safety Examinations Contact Phone Numbers.
Q: I have questions about observer coverage, who do I contact?
Q: Where can I find information about the COVID-19 safety measures observers are taking?
A: Each provider has a plan. You can access them here: