Draft 2013 Observer Program Annual Deployment Plan
Draft of plans of NOAA Fisheries to assign observers to collect independent information from fishing operations conducted in the North Pacific under the authority of the Fishery Management Plans for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska.
Data collection by at-sea observers is currently the only reliable and verifiable method available for NOAA Fisheries to gain fishery discard information and data concerning seabird and marine mammal interactions with fisheries. Onboard observers also collect biological data such as species composition, weights, and tissue samples that are important for stock assessment scientists and researchers. Much of this information is available in near real-time to ensure effective management.