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Southeast Pelagic Observer Program

Monitoring the mobile United States pelagic longline fleet to evaluate the harvest and status of pelagic fish stocks.

The Pelagic Observer Program monitors a mobile United States pelagic longline fleet ranging from Newfoundland along the Western Atlantic, to Brazil and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The program’s 15 to 20 observers gather data to evaluate the harvest and status of pelagic fish stocks.

During an average year, the combined observer corps will spend over 1,500 days total at sea, on trips lasting from 2 to 45 days, observing approximately 1,000 hauls. Begun in 1992, the program, managed by the Southeast Fisheries Science Center, targets 8-percent coverage of the vessels based on the fishing effort of the fleet.


  • Observer Office Phone: 1-800-858-0624

  • Observer Office E-mail: popobserver@noaa.gov

  • Program Coordinator: Observer Branch Chief Scott Leach

  • Program Staff

    • Sascha Cushner: Debriefer & Violation Liaison

    • Andy Davis: Equipment & Safety

    • Stephen Davies: Debriefer

    • Cody Rewis: Alternative Gear Observer Coordinator

    • Meredith Beverly: Observer Coordinator

Fishery Observers

Learn how fisheries observers collect data vital to the sustainable management of our nation's fisheries.

Lindsay Sturtevant an observer holds a fish

Last updated by Southeast Fisheries Science Center on October 22, 2021

Observer Program