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Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis

brailer sampleThe Fisheries Monitoring and Analysis Division (FMA) monitors groundfish and halibut fishing activities in the Federal fisheries off Alaska and conducts research associated with sampling commercial fishery catches, estimation of catch and bycatch mortality, and analysis of fishery-dependent data. The Division is responsible for training, briefing, debriefing and oversight of observers who collect catch data onboard fishing vessels and at onshore processing plants and for quality control/quality assurance of the data provided by these observers. Division staff process data and make it available to the Sustainable Fisheries Division of the Alaska Regional Office for quota monitoring and to scientists in other AFSC divisions for stock assessment, ecosystem investigations, and an array of research investigations.

The Field Operations Program is based in Anchorage with staff also located at the major fishing ports of Dutch Harbor and Kodiak. Staff are engaged in developing improved sampling methods, assisting industry in accommodating observer sampling, and assisting observers deployed in the field.

The Information and Monitoring Technologies Program is responsible for maintenance and development of the Division's information systems, ensuring that these systems are functioning effectively in support of at-sea data collection, data management and processing, delivery of timely data to industry and agency clients, and evaluating, developing, and implementing innovative technologies for monitoring fishing operations and observing catch.

photo of observers in a training lab The Observer Services Program develops training materials, trains, briefs and debriefs observers, and advises them while they are deployed. Training includes extensive instruction in safety and emergency procedures. The current training schedule is now available. The 2018 Observer Sampling Manual and the 2017 Observer Sampling Manual Errata are also available.

The Operations and Administration Program provides Division wide administrative services, responds to data requests from a range of users, works closely with observer contracting companies to address logistics and operational issues, and provides assistance to the Alaska Region and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council in management program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Learn more about FMA's Observer Program:

If you operate a vessel or a plant in Alaska and have recently had a groundfish observer, please fill out the Vessel/Plant Operator Comment Form and return to We appreciate your feedback!.

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