Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Update NOAA Fisheries Observer Waiver Policy

June 29, 2021

Vessels are no longer eligible for release from observer or monitor coverage under the Emergency Rule or regional waiver criteria if a fully vaccinated or quarantined/shelter-in-place observer is available.

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.

Contacts:

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 or visit https://www.fishsafe.info/docksideexamrequest.htm to schedule a dockside safety exam. 

 

Q:  I have questions about observer coverage, who do I contact? 

A:  Contact Kristina Thorpe at (508) 566-5988 for Northeast questions (Maine to New York) and Bridget Harner at (508) 274-4859 for Mid-Atlantic questions (New Jersey to North Carolina). 

 

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:



 

Last updated by Northeast Fisheries Science Center on August 27, 2021