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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Fishing gear. Photo: MGC, AFSC

Restructured Observer Program

North Pacific Groundfish and Halibut Fisheries Observer Program

observer sampling fish
Observer sampling fish. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

The new North Pacific Observer Program (Observer Program) goes into effect January 2013 and makes important changes to 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 will increase the statistical reliability of data collected by the program, address cost inequality among fishery participants, and expand observer coverage to previously unobserved fisheries. This change is necessary to successfully manage our Alaskan fishery resources.

Program Information

General Information

* 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 (ADP)

2014 ADP


2013 ADP


Observer Fees

  • Observer fee payment options: (Fees were due 2/15/2014.)
    • Online on eFISH
    • Wire money by filling out the FEDWIRE form and wiring money from your bank.
    • Questions about fee payment: Call Troie Zuniga at: (800) 304-4846 (#5) or (907) 586-7202 (#5)
  • 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

Trip Selection

Observer Deploy and Declare System (ODDS)


Vessel Selection


Electronic Monitoring


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)


Fisheries Monitoring



Contact Information


  • 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)


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