In December 2019, AIS was awarded the contract to provide fisheries and protected species observers for the Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s (SEFSC) Observer Programs. These programs are managed from NMFS laboratories in Miami, Panama City, and Galveston. The SEFSC oversees the following five observer programs in the southern Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico:
Although vessel size, trip length, and data collection protocol varies for each program, on every trip observers must document: 1) safety and compliance; 2) type of fishing gear; 3) fisheries catch and bycatch; and 4) incidental bycatch of marine mammals, sea turtles and birds. AIS observers submit high-quality data and samples to NMFS. These data and samples are used to: monitor federal fisheries; create stock assessments, set quotas, and inform management of the fisheries’ status. Observers for these programs are provided 24/7 support by AIS coordinators assigned to each program and stationed at the relevant lab and our contract management team.
For more information contact: