Observers and at-sea monitors are hired by AIS and trained and certified by NMFS. They deploy to assigned ports or temporary duty locations depending on the program’s need. AIS Coordinators supervise, support, and assign the observers and at-sea monitors to trips. The length of each trip and size of the vessels covered depend on the fishery and program.
During and following each trip the observer or at-sea monitor performs quality assurance checks. Depending on the program the data may be entered and uploaded electronically or submitted on paper logs.
Data submitted to NOAA Fisheries are logged in, and distributed to Debriefers or Data Editors at NOAA Fisheries. These teams review the trip logs and look for discrepancies, missing data and errors. Debriefers and editors may contact the observer or at-sea monitor to clear up any questions regarding the data. The accepted data is stored in a NOAA Fisheries database and made available to the NMFS scientists to be used for stock assessments and research.