North Pacific Observer Program 2021 Annual Report
This Annual Report provides information, analysis, and recommendations based on the deployment of observers and Electronic Monitoring systems by the North Pacific Observer Program during 2021.
This annual report provides information, analysis, and recommendations based on deployment of observers and Electronic Monitoring (EM) systems under the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program) during 2021. Section 313 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) (16 U.S.C. 1862) authorizes the North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council), in consultation with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to prepare a fishery research plan. NMFS implemented the Council’s fisheries research plan through the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program). The Observer Program provides the regulatory framework for stationing observers and EM systems to collect data necessary for the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of the commercial groundfish and Pacific halibut fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska management areas.
The Observer Program is the largest observer program in the country and covers vessels in both partial coverage and full coverage. In the full coverage component of the program, every trip is monitored by 1 or 2 observers and the vast majority of groundfish harvest is covered by this portion of the program. Each year, the Annual Deployment Plan (ADP) describes the science-driven method for deployment of observers on vessels in the partial coverage component of the program (50 CFR 679.51(a)). The ADP specifies the scientific deployment design for the partial coverage fisheries and the selection rate — the portion of trips that are sampled by observers and EM. The following year, the agency provides an Annual Report with descriptive information and scientific evaluation of the deployment of observers and EM. The ADP and Annual Report process provides information to assess whether the objectives of the Observer Program have been met and a process to make recommendations to improve implementation of the program to further these objectives.