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Winter Observing On A Commercial Longline Vessel - Post #1

May 25, 2022

Join fish biologist Rory Morgan as she braves the Arctic winter on a commercial fishing vessel in the Bering Sea to collect valuable scientific information as part of the North Pacific Observer Program.

ilustration of a commercial long-line vessel laying out its gear.

Hello! My name is Rory.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to work with the ocean and its creatures. I grew up in a city, but spent every second I could at the beach, from visits with my family to adventures on my own when I could finally drive. So naturally, I wanted to go to university on the coast. This led me to the University of Maine at Machias. At that small college in northern Maine is where my knowledge and passions blossomed.

I graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts  in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology. I spent the summer after graduating working on mapping toxic phytoplankton blooms along Maine’s coastline. After working in a computer lab all summer, I was ready for a change. So, I applied to Alaskan Observers, Inc. I trained to become a North Pacific Observer in December 2018. My first contract began in January 2019. Since then I have accrued over 500 sea days and been on every type of vessel that my company covers. My passion for the ocean has only increased over these past three years. This job is truly one of a kind.

I am excited to share with you my experience working onboard a commercial longline vessel in Alaska. For the next several weeks, I will provide some personal reflections on what it is like to be a North Pacific fisheries observer working in some of the most beautiful and productive waters in the United States.

Next: Winter Observing On A Commercial Longline Vessel - Post #2

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