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
North Pacific Groundfish
Alaska Marine Mammals (inactive)
Observer and At-Sea Monitoring Programs
West Coast Groundfish
West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Shares
Pacific Islands Fisheries
Southeast Shark Bottomline
Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish and Shrimp Fisheries
Fisheries observers are biologists who work independently to collect a wide range of information onboard commercial fishing vessels and at shoreside processing plants receiving fish from Alaskan waters. Observer information is used by NMFS and partner...
Listed below is the Seattle and Anchorage Observer Training Schedule for October 2017 - February 2018.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is cited on this page, and we have provided citations for specific regulations for your reference. Observer Program regulations can be found under Title 50, Part 679. The regulations in the eCFR take precedence if...