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Title: Foreign Fishing Observer Data Dictionary
Short Name: Foreign Fishing Observer Data
Status: In Work

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) began placing observers on foreign fishing vessels operating off the northwest and Alaskan coasts of the United States in 1973, creating the North Pacific Foreign Fisheries Observer Program. Initially, observers were placed on vessels only upon invitation by host countries. In the early years of the program the primary purposes of observers were to determine incidental catch rates of Pacific halibut in groundfish catches and to verify catch statistics in the Japanese crab fishery. Later, observers collected data on the incidence of king crab, snow (Tanner) crab, and Pacific salmon, and obtained biological data on other important species. Following the implementation of the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, which mandated that fishery observers be placed on foreign fishing vessels operating within the US 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the Alaska coast of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, observer coverage rapidly expanded.

In 1978, American fishers began fishing for groundfish in joint ventures with foreign processing vessels. By 1986, the foreign fisheries that were not joint-venture were halted, and by 1991, joint-venture foreign fishing within the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska was terminated, while the US domestic groundfish fisheries began.

Supplemental Information:,3,History ? 1970s and 1980s


Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Foreign Fishing
None Observer

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None Bering Sea
None GOA

Support Roles

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 182129
Date Effective From: 2007-09-15
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Narita, Renold E
Email Address:
Contact Instructions:

206 526 4053


CC ID: 182128
Date Effective From: 2007-09-15
Date Effective To:
Contact (Person): Blair, Julie A
Address: 7600 Sandpoint Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Email Address:
Phone: 206 526 4053
Fax: (206)526-4066
Business Hours: 0700-1630


Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 154660
W° Bound: -180
E° Bound: -130
N° Bound: 60
S° Bound: 30

Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, Gulf of Alaska, West Coast of the United States.

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 37096
Time Frame Type: Range
Start: 1973
End: 1986

Duration of Foreign Fishery Observer Deployments

Access Information

Security Class: Confidential
Security Classification System:

MSA confidentiality requirements

Security Handling Description:

Static, changes not allowed

Data Access Policy:

Purpose and Confidentiality Agreements Must Be on File

Data Access Constraints:

Purpose and Confidentiality Agreements Must Be on File

Metadata Access Constraints:


Metadata Use Constraints:


Child Items

Rubric scores updated every 15m

Rubric Score Type Title
Data Set AFSC/FMA/North Pacific Observer Foreign Fishing

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 9554
GUID: gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:9554
Metadata Record Created By: Doug Turnbull
Metadata Record Created: 2009-06-29 14:37+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2022-08-09 17:11+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2016-05-18
Owner Org: AFSC
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Last Review Date: 2016-05-18
Metadata Review Frequency: 1 Year
Metadata Next Review Date: 2017-05-18