A.I.S., Inc. is pleased to announce that Denise Craft, was voted Observer of the Month for September 2022.

She was nominated by her debriefer and voted on by the technical staff of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries.

September 2022 marks 20 years that Denise has been a NEFOP observer. She has completed 1,641 seadays (1,155 trips) so far in her career. She always has very complete uploads and logs that are neatly written and well organized with excellent comments. She has excellent data quality and goes on primarily gillnet vessels out of many different ports (typically in Virginia, North Carolina, & New Jersey). Her catch estimation math is almost always perfect, and her trips require very few corrections. If ever she cannot find the answer to a question, she has in one of her resources, she will always contact her debriefer prior to sending her trip in to make sure she is formatting correctly and that she understands the matter that brought up her question fully. Denise has also recently completed training to become an Electronic Monitoring (EM) Reviewer (April 2022).

Over the course of her career, she has completed 890 seadays covering gillnet vessels, 378 seadays covering bottom trawl vessels, 224 seadays covering scallop dredge vessels, 84 seadays covering beach seine trips, 15 seadays covering purse seine vessels, 12 seadays covering scallop trawl vessels, 8 seadays covering longline/handline vessels, and 5 seadays covering pair/midwater trawl vessels. Denise has taken 118,695 length frequencies over the course of her career, and if all the animals she lengthed were lined up together, they would span a total of 405.8 miles (which is almost long enough to make a bridge from Tech Park to Denise’s homeport of Virginia Beach, as the crow flies). She has observed over 1,042 miles of gillnets, has attained over 62,936 lbs. in actual weights, and has quantified over 9,461,638 lbs. of catch in her 20 years of observing! Astounding!

Denise has encountered at least 143 different fish & invertebrate species over the course of her career and has documented 66 incidental takes. Her incidental takes over the past twenty years include 10 species of birds, 2 species of seal, 1 dolphin species, and 1 turtle species.

Denise always tries to get as many actual weights as possible and is excellent at choosing the best sampling method for the situation at hand when actual weights are not attainable. She has retained and submitted a number of biological samples over the years, including fish for training and for the herring sampling project most recently in the last year. Thank you so much for your hard work over the years, and keep up the amazing work, Denise!

Congratulations from all of us at A.I.S., Inc!