Fishery observers and at-sea monitors are our eyes and ears on the water. They collect data from U.S. commercial fishing and processing vessels as well as from shore-side processing plants. Observers are professionally trained biological scientists gathering first-hand data on what’s caught and thrown back, which supports science, conservation, and management activities. The high-quality data they collect are used to monitor fisheries, assess fish populations, set fishing quotas, and inform management. Observers also support compliance with fishing and safety regulations.