To improve knowledge on commercial catches, distribution of fish populations and environmental impact due to fishing activities, Fisheries Observer data is one of the most reliable and unbiased sources. Fisheries observers are deployed on the fishing vessels as independent data collectors on fishing activities. As much as their role is not that of the fisheries compliance officers, they are somehow required to report on compliance issues without enforcement role. The vessel logbook data are one of the valuable and continuous sources of information for the management of the fishery. However, the vessel logbook does not paint a clear picture as some information may not be included such as catch composition data that includes the discarded bycatch species and issues classified as non-compliance.
Fisheries observer data has been the most successful source to uncover what is happening at sea. The shark finning was always a myth up until Fisheries Observers provided some evidence of such practices. The fishing logbook data does not provide information on fish discards and the dumping of target species. The fisheries observer programs have always covered this kind of data. The absence of the active fisheries observer programs for any country can spark the question around the sustainability of the fishery.
Our Observers are competent in most RFMOs and Tuna observers are trained in accordance with IOTC ROS standards and are in possession of IOTC Observer numbers.
We have successfully deployed fisheries observers in the following RFMOs: