|NMFS-National Observer Program (NOP)
||The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) deploys fishery observers to collect
catch data from US commercial fishing and processing vessels. Approximately 20 different
fisheries are monitored by observer programs annually. NMFS has been using observers
to collect fisheries data from 1972 to the present. Observers have monitored fishing
activities on all US coasts, collecting data for a range of conservation and management
issues. The National Marine Fisheries Service coordinates observer program management
through the NMFS Office of Science and Technology/National Observer Program (NOP).
The NOP seeks to support regional observer programs and increase their usefulness
to the overall goals of NMFS. Improvements in data collection, observer training,
safety, outreach, and the integration of observer data with other research are among
the important issues that the NOP works with on a national level.