At Sea Monitor Job Duties

At Sea Monitors collect data from commercial fishing vessels working at sea. They collect valuable information that is used for quota monitoring and improvement on an assumed discard rate that shore side sampling is unable to capture.

  • Area Coordinators assign trips that have come through the Pre Trip Notification System to the Monitors.  The Monitors must make contact with the captains to confirm the location of the vessel and sail time, etc.
  • Monitors collect vessel and trip information such as port, vessel size, number of crew, gear, and expenses (food, fuel, ice).
  • Monitors will ask the captain the types, sizes and number of gear he has onboard. In addition, the monitor will take measurements of certain gear parts.
  • A Monitors’ primary duty is to collect data on pounds of fish caught and discarded by haul.
  • Monitors will take length measurements of various fish species based on gear type and location.
  • Monitors are required to document an incidental bycatch of marine mammals, sea turtles, or sea birds through comments and photographs.  In addition, certain species must be tagged.
  • Upon returning from a trip, the monitor will upload trip data from their handheld computer to the the National Marine Fisheries Service observer database using a wireless internet connection.
  • Monitors notify their Area Coordinators upon sailing and landing from a fishing trip.
  • Monitors send their data logs and samples to NMFS. They may be contacted by their Data Editor regarding how they recorded information and items that need improvement. The data is edited, audited, and loaded into a computer database in order to continuously update the assumed discard rate and to monitor the quota being used by each sector.