Fisheries observer on deck of commercial fishing boat.

Fishery Observers

Observer Programs

For more than four decades, we have used fishery observers to collect catch and bycatch data from U.S. commercial fishing and processing vessels, as well as from shore-side processing plants and “motherships” also known as receiving vessels. Today, there are fisheries observer programs in all five NOAA Fisheries management regions: Alaska, West Coast, Pacific Islands, Greater Atlantic, and Southeast.

All of these region-based programs fall under our National Observer Program, which allows us to address observer issues of national importance and to develop overarching policies and procedures to reflect the diverse needs of regional observer programs while enhancing data quality and achieving consistency in key areas of national importance.

Custom map describing observer programs around the country

Alaska Fishery Observer Programs

Northeast Fishery Observer Program

Northwest Fishery Observer Programs

Pacific Islands Fishery Observer Program

Southeast Fishery Observer Programs

Southwest Fisheries Observer Program