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National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Regional Office

Fishing gear. Photo: MGC, AFSC

Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program (AMMOP)

2014 AMMOP

NMFS is not operating the Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program in 2014 due to a lack of available resources to fund additional observations of the southeast Alaska salmon drift gillnet fishery. We will reassess future AMMOP activities as funding permits

Southeast Alaska Drift Gillnet Fishery: 2012-2013

Petersburg Harbor
Petersburg Harbor, Alaska. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

The Southeast Alaska salmon drift gillnet fishery, as a Category II fishery, is subject to monitoring of marine mammal interactions under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Fishing operations in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Management Areas 6&8 and Anita Bay terminal harvest area for this fishery were monitored together in the 2012 fishing season, and will be monitored again in 2013. Operations in this fishery in the remaining ADF&G Management Areas will be monitored in subsequent years.

In 2011 NMFS' AMMOP conducted outreach to discuss program goals and industry concerns and to determine the best approach for placing observers throughout the fishery for data collection. Public meetings and workshops were held with fishermen to develop a dialog with permit holders regarding data collection methods. Additional public meetings were held in 2012 and will be held again in 2013 prior to data collection to ensure fishermen are well informed about the program and to provide a forum for discussion about program details and concerns.

AMMOP in Wrangell and Petersburg 2012-13

About the Alaska Marine Mammal Observer Program

NMFS is mandated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to measure and report on the effects of commercial fisheries on marine mammal stocks. One of the ways NMFS gathers this information is through the Marine Mammal Observer Program .

The purpose of the Marine Mammal Observer Program is to:

sorting salmon
Sorting salmon. Photo: NOAA Fisheries

  • obtain reliable estimates of incidental serious injury and mortality of marine mammals and seabirds,
  • determine the reliability of reports submitted by vessel owners and operators,
  • identify changes in fishing methods or technology that may increase or decrease incidental serious injury or mortality,
  • collect biological samples to support and promote scientific studies,
  • record data on by-catch and discard levels of all species.

General Information

AMMOP Overview

AMMOP in Yakutat 2007-08

Related Information

Bycatch Estimation Reports

Program Coordinator

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