Restructured Observer Program
North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Fisheries Observer Program
In 2013, NMFS made important changes to the North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program). We changed how observers are deployed, how observer coverage is funded, and the vessels and processors that must have some or all of their operations observed. These changes increase the statistical reliability of data collected by the program, address cost inequality among fishery participants, and expand observer coverage to previously unobserved fisheries. These changes are necessary to successfully manage our Alaskan fishery resources.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Summary of the New Observer Program
- Observer Coverage in CDQ Fisheries
- Outreach Meetings
- News Release: New Observer Program, November 2012
- Observer Harassment Warning
* This program information constitutes the Small Entity Compliance Guide required under section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.
Annual Deployment Plan and Annual Reports
- Final 2014 Annual Deployment Plan (ADP), December 2013
- 2013 Annual Report, May 2014
- Preliminary 2013 Annual Performance Review, June 2013
- Final 2013 Annual Deployment Plan (ADP), January 2013
- Observer fee payment options: (Fees were due 2/15/2014.)
- Observer Fee Information
- Port and port groups used to determine standard prices for observer fees
- Standard Ex-vessel Prices: 2014, 2013 (Excel format)
- Notice of the standard ex-vessel prices for observer fees: 2014, 2013
Observer Deploy and Declare System (ODDS)
- Letter to Vessel owners who were selected for Coverage
- Introduction Letter to All Vessel Owners in the Vessel Selection Pool
- Electronic Monitoring (EM) Pilot Study
- EM Installation Specifications
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More information about EM in Alaska
- EFP for the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association to evaluate integrating EM on fixed gear vessels
- US District Court for the District of Alaska Order - Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment
Regulations and Analysis
- 77 FR 70062, November 21, 2012. Final rule to implement Amendment 86 to the Fishery
Management Plan for Groundfish of the BSAI Management Area and
Amendment 76 to the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the GOA. Amendments 86/76 add a funding and deployment system for observer
coverage to the existing North Pacific Groundfish Observer Program and
amend existing observer coverage requirements for vessels and processing plants.
- 77 FR 29961, May 21, 2012. Notice of a public hearing on the proposed restructuring of the funding and deployment system for observers in the North Pacific groundfish and halibut fisheries.
- 77 FR 23326, April 18, 2012. Proposed regulations to implement Amendment 86 to the FMP for Groundfish of the BSAI and Amendment 76 to the FMP for Groundfish of the GOA.
- News Release: NOAA seeks public input on a new observer program structure for Alaska fisheries
- 77 FR 22753, April 17, 2012. Notice of public hearings.
- 77 FR 15019, March 14, 2012. Notice of availability of Amendment 86 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Groundfish of the BSAI Management Area (BSAI) and Amendment 76 to the FMP for Groundfish of the GOA.
- EA/RIR/IRFA for BSAI Amendment 86 and GOA Amendment 76 on Restructuring the Program for Observer Procurement and Deployment in the North Pacific, March 2011 and FONSI, June 2012
Request for Proposals (RFP)
- FedBizOpps RFP information for prospective observer service vendors to provide observer support services under the restructured observer program. (external link)
- Contract Award (September 2012)
- NOAA Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office
- Sustainable Fisheries Division, PH: (907) 586-7228
- Fee Payment Questions: Troie Zuniga, NMFS OMD: (800) 304-4846 (#5) or (907) 586-7202 (#5)
- Observer Program Questions (FMA Division - Seattle)
- To log trips over the phone contact the