Job Opportunity: Marine Mammal Observer in the Falkland Islands

Saltwater Inc. is hiring a Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) to work in the Falkland Islands.

MMOs will be deployed on bottom trawl vessels in the Falkland Islands Loligo squid fishery. They will be fishing in the Southwest Atlantic. The main role of the MMO will be to conduct observations to estimate seal abundance per species and describe seal-fishing gear interactions. Additionally, MMO duties will include sampling Loligo catches on a daily basis for biometrics, monitoring the performance of bird scaring lines (BSL), documenting seabird mortality, and weighing and measuring samples of juvenile toothfish. Work will begin approximately mid July 2020 in the Falkland Islands. There will be two seasons of 68 days each (64 continuous days at sea for each season). The second season will be in February 2021. Additional cruises in the following years may be an option. Although 64 continuous days at sea are expected during each season, short transshipment port calls may occur.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Monitor at least three trawls per day (i.e., shooting and hauling) and record seal abundance, their interactions with fishing gear, live escapees, live releases and incidental mortalities.
  • Real-time reporting of seal bycatch. Carcass sampling or measurement and marking.
  • Complete two excel data sheet forms on a daily basis and send the files to the client three times per week (laptop computer and internet will be provided onboard the vessel).
  • Record details from fishing activity: shoot, turn, and haul times and positions, commercial catch and bycatch (provided by the vessel/logbook).
  • Monitor Seal Exclusions Devices (SED) and BSL type and maintenance, net cleaning and discard management.
  • Daily monitor and record seabird interactions with fishing gear during seal observations.
  • Record seabird mortalities and reveal their possible causes, collect and preserve all carcasses if required.
  • Daily measure 100 Loligo specimens and weigh the entire squid sample.
  • Daily weigh all identifiable toothfish bycatch and measure total length of an accumulated number of 100 specimens per week.

For more information and how to apply, click here.

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