John LaFargue graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in fisheries. As an undergrad, he participated in several juvenile rockfish surveys aboard the RV David Starr Jordan. John started his observing career with the North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program (NPGOP) in 1997. He observed on commercial long line and trawl vessels out of Kodiak, Sand Point and Dutch Harbor. For the next four years, John participated in the Southwest Region's Drift Gillnet Program and helped resurrect the Set Gillnet Observer Program. He then moved on to help develop the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program (WCGOP). He has acted in an advisory capacity for both the Southwest Region Marine Mammal Take Reduction Team and The Groundfish Council.
As an observer coordinator, John conducts training, debriefing and logistic sessions. He currently sits on the National Observer Program's (NOP) Steering Committee for the next International Observer Conference.