Offshore Industry News

Opportunity: Fishery Observer Support

Response due: 25 January 2016

The National Marine Fisheries Service requires a contractor to provide and retain the necessary qualified personnel, material, equipment, services, and facilities to perform quality environmental, biological, and fisheries operations data collection, data analysis, and information dissemination for the West Coast fisheries observed by NMFS West Coast Region (WCR). The opportunity is a small business set aside.


The Government requires selection, supervision, and outfitting of all sea-going personnel needed to fulfill Federal fisheries obligations of the Observers for the West Coast Region Observer Program (WCROP).

NMFS WCR has the obligation to monitor and to obtain estimates of the incidental take of marine mammals and other protected species in U.S. West Coast fisheries. Data are required to assess the potential impact of the fisheries on marine mammals, sea turtles and seabirds, specifically sperm whales, humpback whales, short-finned pilot whales, other strategic marine mammal stocks, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles, and North Pacific albatross. Data are also required to document finfish bycatch.

Observer coverage aboard commercial fishing vessels is mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA).

Sea-going Observers work 40 hours or more per week as the sole contract employee aboard privately-owned commercial fishing vessels. Observers are required to collect required information to assess the involvement of marine mammals, sea turtles, seabirds and finfish bycatch in the fisheries and acquire biological information for population and life studies.

For a comprehensive list of actual requirements, click here.

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