This session seeks to highlight the essential relationship between fisheries observer programs and enforcement in order to foster the support of observers and ultimately sustainable management of our marine resources. Although observers are central to high-quality fishery-dependent data collection, observers also face challenges in performing their work safely at sea on commercial fishing vessels. Without effective enforcement programs, regulations and measures designed to the rules that are in place to create a safe and efficient sampling environment for observers are easily subverted. Enforcement also is paramount to combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fisheries. This expert panel discussion will provide an opportunity to share ideas, present case studies of collaborative partnerships with observer programs and enforcement agencies, and illustrate operational challenges. The end goal will be to identify tactics and strategies that contribute to effective observer and enforcement relationships.
Gwynne Schnaittacher, NOAA Fisheries, [email protected]
Jon McVeigh, NOAA Fisheries